Antivirus researchers trawling through the code for Nimda have discovered that the worm is set to propagate again later today.
According to the reports, the worm is designed to self-propagate again, ten days after first infecting machines.
This time the worm will spread itself as a 'readme.exe' attachment containing the same payload as the original malware.
Infected emails are understood to have a corrupted subject line which may work against the worm's ability to spread, acting as a heads up for suspicious users.
The potential damage that could be done by the next outbreak depends on how well the industry has taken heed of experts' warnings and installed the relevant patches.
The construction of Nimda is significant in that it is the first virus to pose a threat to both desktop machines as well as servers. It is capable of infecting machines running Windows 95, 98, Me and 2000.
the spread vector is expected to be much smaller than the original impact, however, because there should be fewer vulnerable machines.
Research carried out by the Co-operative Association for Internet Data Analysis reported last week that over 450,000 machines were already infected and attempting to spread the worm.
As precautions against an epidemic, users have been advised to double-check their patches, make sure their antivirus software blocks Nimda, block executable files at the email gateway, and not to preview or open any attachments called 'readme.exe'.
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