Antivirus experts have warned about a mass mailing worm which, while unremarkable is its design, is spreading rapidly across the UK.
The 'Goner' virus is nothing special in its construction. It spreads via email, harvesting addresses from Outlook and chat program ICQ.
Goner arrives as an email attachment purporting to be a screensaver under the name 'Gone.scr'. If the attachment is opened, a dialog box appears with a greeting, followed by an error message.
This is simply a diversion, however. In the background the virus is doing its dirty work, mailing itself out to all names in the address books or using file transfer to spread through ICQ.
Once it infects a machine, the worm searches for and terminates a number of processes including many that run firewalls or security software.
The email version of the worm arrives with the subject line 'Hi' and contains the following text: "How are you ? When I saw this screen saver, I immediately thought about you I am in a harry, I promise you will love it!"
Antivirus firm F-Secure said the worm first appeared this afternoon [4 December]and is "spreading quickly throughout the UK".
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