anti-war computer worms

    from Mumbai newsline {India}
    'Say No To War' may mean 'yes' to e-mail worms
    Vijay Singh
    Mumbai, April 4: BEWARE, if you are an Anti-war activist and are trying to join any world peace movement via the Internet. Your computer server runs the risk of being infected by a virus.

    Since the March 20 outbreak of the US-Iraq war, at least 40 computer viruses and worms have made their presence felt on the Net. These are mainly e-mail viruses with catchy subject lines like: 'Say No To War', or John Lenon-inspired: 'Give Peace A Chance'.

    However, while most of these viruses (which pretend to offer war-related info) are considered 'low threat perception', three worms have been identified to be of significant risk. These mass mailers are-Ganda, Wanor and Prune.

    The newly appointed country manager of Trend Micro India, Niraj Kaushik, says: ''We generally don't consider viruses a specific 'cyberattack' threat and there have been no real examples so far. But we do consider ongoing virus damage threats, and just generally that continual need for boosting corporate data-security.'' Trend Micro provides software solutions internationally and mainly concentrates on virus threats.

    Avid virus watcher Vinay Kalantri, of Anyuser Software Solutions company, notes: ''The Prune virus is a worm that spreads by mass-mailing copies of itself to all recipients listed in the Microsoft Outlook address book. It also spreads across the network and attempts to propagate via Internet Relay Chat.''

    Kalantri himself has identified over 35 ''war related'' worms, but agreed that many viruses can be avoided if the users delete e-mails with attachments sent by unknown persons.

    Reportedly, these e-mail worms have subject lines like: 'US Government Material-Iraq Crisis', but the message body will be blank.

    The Ganda worm propagates by mass-mailing a copy of itself to addresses in the Windows Address Book. What makes it dangerous is that victims will believe that the infected e-mail is sent to them by people whom they know, hence they will immediately open the attachment, and thereby catch the virus.

    On the other hand, 'Wanor' worm propagates via e-mail using Microsoft Outlook's Messaging Application Programming Interface or MAPI. It sends out an e-mail message with itself as attachment to all addresses listed. Its subject line is usually 'Say No To War' or 'Not war not blood'. <<<