A canny virus writer has jumped on the current Catherine Zeta-Jones publicity bandwagon to spread a new worm. But internet users seem less than impressed.
Antivirus software vendor Sophos issued an advisory warning that files purporting to be pictures of the Welsh actress are circulating via Instant Messenger and peer-to-peer file sharing networks.
But the files actually contain the Igloo worm, a basic Trojan that has been in circulation for some time.
Sophos said it has not had any reports of infections, and other antivirus vendors have not heard of more than a handful. So it seems that the Oscar-tipped actress is not the online pull she once was.
The worm installs a remote access Trojan on infected computers and mails the location of the PC to the virus creator via internet relay chat (IRC). It then attempts to propagate itself via IRC channels.
"It is not widespread as yet and is very simple, but it's important to be on your toes," said Joe Hartmann, head of Trend Micro's US research lab.
"It's a standard piece of simplistic malware that all major vendors have built a script to combat."
When a similar tactic was first used, promising pictures of Russian pin-up and tennis player Anna Kournikova, the virus spread to millions of computers and caused over $1bn worth of damage.
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