RealNews

New BugBear Worm Still Spreading

Malicious program specifically targets financial institutions. Several antivirus companies remained on high alert Thursday after the rapid spread of a new computer worm that includes particularly malicious snooping techniques. Bugbear.B, a variant of a worm released last year, installs keylogging software, back-door software, and in some cases even attempts to control infected computers’ modems. Some of the worm’s functions are designed to specially target financial institutions. THE NEW WORM spread to 115 countries just hours after its release, according to antivirus firm MessageLabs. Warnings about BugBear were issued overnight, when the virus was discovered. But only a few hours later, just as the work day began on the U.S. east coast, both F-Secure Corp. and Network Associates Inc. raised the risk rating to high as the worm spread rapidly. Symantec Corp. also raised its rating, but that firm still lists it essentially as a medium risk. UK-based MessageLabs said it had trapped 75,000 copies of the worm on Thursday. About 1 in every 171 e-mails scanned by MessageLabs was carrying the worm by the end of the day. “The new Bugbear is likely to be more damaging than any virus seen so far this year,” said Mark Sunner, Chief Technology Officer at MessageLabs. Full Story

OODA Analyst

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