An email virus disguised as a nude picture of a glamour model has been intercepted by security experts.
The Maslan-C worm (W32/Maslan-C) spreads via email with the subject line '123' and carries an attached file called 'Playgirls2.exe'. It is designed to launch a series of denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on websites run by Chechen rebel separatists.
Recipients who run the attached file and become infected can pass the virus to other email users, and can become unwitting participants in the distributed DoS attacks, security firm Sophos has warned.
In terms of pathology, the virus waits until the first day of every month and then launches a DoS attack intended to swamp the targeted websites with internet traffic and force them offline.
"These websites play a key role in the propaganda war between the Chechen rebels and the Kremlin," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
"Clearly whoever has written this virus wants to make it harder for the Chechen separatists to publish information about their cause on the internet. Whether you agree with the intention or not, spreading a virus to do this is clearly criminal behaviour."
This is not the first time the Chechen separatist websites have been in the news. Just two weeks ago, the Russian foreign ministry asked its Lithuanian counterparts for an explanation as to why the websites - run by separatists in Lithuania - had resumed activity.
Further details about Maslan-C, which Sophos notes is not spreading rapidly, can be found here
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