Users are being warned about a new fast spreading virus that seems to be politically motivated. The Mawanella virus arrives in an email with the subject line 'Mawanella'. It carries an attachment 'mawanella.vbs' and in the body has an ASCII art picture of a burning house.
The accompanying misspelled text reads: "Mawanella is one of the Sri Lanka's Muslim Village. This brutal incident happened here 2 Muslim Mosques & 100 Shops are burnt I hat this incident, What about you? I can destroy your computer I didn't do that because I am a peace-loving citizen."
Should the user execute the attached .vbs script the email will be sent to all names in the user's outlook address book. The virus does no other damage.
Antivirus companies have confirmed that the easy-to-use virus generator responsible for the Kournikova worm is to blame for this latest threat. In addition to the US, infections have been reported in Asia, Australia and Europe, but especially in northern Europe and Scandinavia.
There is also a virus alert about another Outlook worm, apparently attempting to flood the Echelon spy network. A message headed '!!!' and carrying an attachment 'echelon.vbs' has been reported in the wild.
If it is opened the script will create a bunch of keywords such as 'NSA', 'KGB', 'MI5', 'MI6' etc., in a bid to "fl00d the echelon network".
The virus is not expected to get very far given its obscure header, but it will email itself to the user's contact list and overwrite .MP3 files by changing their extensions.
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