Avril Lavigne Virus Hits the Web
A new worm, named after the Canadian pop singer, is infecting machines in the United States and abroad.Its been a big week for teen pop singer Avril Lavigne; first she garnered five Grammy nominations and now she has a virus named after her. A new wormgoing by various names, including Avril, Lirva and Naithis infecting machines in the United States and abroad. In addition to forcing users to visit Lavignes Web site, the worm continues a recent trend among viruses by attempting to disable various anti-virus and firewall products on infected machines. The worm searches each PCs hard drive for HTML files that may contain e-mail addresses and then uses its own built-in SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol) engine to send copies of itself to whatever addresses it finds. However, initial analyses have found that there may be an error in the code that prevents some copies of the outgoing message from being sent.
The virus exploits a nearly two-year-old vulnerability that can force Microsoft Internet Explorer to execute some e-mail attachments without the users intervention. The worm appears to only infect Windows machines running Microsoft Outlook and mails copies of itself to all of the names in the infected machines Outlook address book.