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'Gruel' worm poses as Microsoft patch and Symantec tool

An e-mail worm called “Gruel” is beginning to spread on the internet and over the Kazaa peer-to-peer network, according to antivirus company TruSecure. Gruel is a mass-mailer that masquerades as a Windows software patch from Microsoft and as a virus removal tool from Symantec. Like other mass-mailing worms, Gruel spreads by stealing e-mail addresses from an infected computer’s Microsoft Outlook address book and mailing copies of itself to those addresses. The worm deletes files from machines it infects and copies itself into various locations, including folders used by Kazaa network, enabling it to spread further. TruSecure received word of five infections and fielded around 20 calls from users who have received e-mail messages containing the virus, according to Bruce Hughes, content security lab manager at TruSecure. While the number of infections is still low, Gruel has a number of characteristics that have allowed other worms to successfully spread in recent months. Full Story

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