Lirva worm variants wreck havoc

Security experts are warning that the recently discovered Lirva worm is spreading rapidly, thanks to the release of two new variants.

Security experts are warning that the recently discovered Lirva worm is spreading rapidly, thanks to the release of two new variants.

Panda Software is warning of two new variants to the Lirva worm, Lirva.B and Lirva.C. The new variants are very similar to the original Lirva worm which began infecting computers on Jan. 6, with differences in the size of the infected file.

The release of three variants in a short period of time may cause confusion about naming the variants within the antivirus community. Lirva claims to offer fan access to teen singer Avril Lavigne to encourage victims to run the file, and opens a Web page to Lavigne's site once it is active. It spreads through e-mail, IRC, ICQ and Kazaa, but does not appear to spoof the senders e-mail address.

E-mail services company MessageLabs has so far stopped around 16,000 copies of the Lirva virus from around the world, and has upgraded the threat to the 'high' level.

MessageLabs is also warning of a new virus, Sobig, that has 'big@boss.com' in the "from" field.