Users have been warned to be vigilant over email attachments following reports of a virus contained in an email with the subject line 'funny story'.
Although the virus, called VBS/Funnystory or VBS/Funnystory-A, has been rated as a low risk by antivirus vendors, experts said it is another reminder of the risk of opening emails with unknown attachments.
The virus creates a piece of malicious code, or Trojan, which analyses the victim's computer in search of data to which access has been restricted, according to a description issued by antivirus company Panda Software.
The Trojan emails itself to all the entries in the infected PC's Microsoft Outlook address book in the same way as the deadly Love Bug virus, which caused millions of pounds worth of damage to computers worldwide earlier this year. Once these messages have been sent, the Trojan eliminates the file created in the Systems folder, then it runs the PC's internet browser and links to the website www.makeyoulaugh.com.
The virus is also programmed to create a Trojan with the objective of stealing data such as system names and passwords, hidden codes and passwords to internet connection.
Panda Software warns users not to "execute attachments that come in through email messages from unknown sources or those that were not previously solicited, even if they come from known and trusted sources".
Jack Clark, European product manager for Network Associates, said: "This virus is not new and there have been few reports. However, people should be reminded that they can't trust attachments, no matter how tempting the subject line of the email may be."
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