Second Christmas card virus Ataks users

Virus writers have released another seasonal mass-mailing worm that poses as an email Christmas card
Written by Dan Ilett, Contributor

Antivirus companies have spotted another mass-mailing Christmas card virus spreading around the Internet.

According to antivirus company F-Secure on Thursday, reports are rolling in of Atak.H, which poses as a Christmas e-card.

"There are different levels of risk with these email Christmas cards," said Mikko Hypponen, director of antivirus research for F-Secure. "It's very similar to past ones we've seen. There's little risk in sending Christmas cards, but there is in opening them. We recommend people to send old-school Christmas cards because there's no security risk in that."

The virus, which is similar to the Zafi worm currently causing havoc on the Internet, spreads to all the addresses in the contacts book of email clients. But unlike the multilingual Zafi, Atak only sends itself in English.

According to F-Secure, the virus contains no Trojan horse -- a tool that virus writers often use to take remote control of computers. Hypponen says this is strange.

The worm, which was discovered yesterday, contains the subject line "Merry X-Mas!" or "Happy New Year!" The body of the text reads: "Happy New year and wish you good luck on next year [sic]."

Editorial standards