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Experts Find Spam Virus Advocating Far-Right Thoughts

Xinhua News Agency
05/18/05 7:25 AM PT

Alfred Huger, an experts at Symantec Corp., estimated that Sober-Q had generated "tens of millions" of spam messages. Each infected machine is probably capable of sending out 10,000 spams per hour.

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The well-traveled Sober virus has a new variant that links to German language Web sites boasting far-right racialism, IT security experts warned on Monday.

The newly found Sober-Q virus has been apparently turned into a propaganda machine by authors, according to F-Secure , an IT security firm based in Finland.

Some time during last weekend, thousands of Sober-infected machines under the control of the virus writer were instructed to download this new version, the F-Secure said in a statement. Other anti-virus companies also issued similar alerts.

Spam Machines
The new version turned infected computers into spam machines. The infected computers were then told to send out hundreds of messages, mostly in German, linking to Web pages containing information on conservative German political issues.

Some of the e-mails actually linked to legitimate news stories at mainstream Web sites like Der Spiegel Online. But many of these links point to the homepage of the right-wing extremist National Democratic Party (NPD) in Germany.

The virus is not considered dangerous, according to experts at anti-virus firm McAfee . Very few infections have been reported, but it is generating a lot of spam with some users receiving hundreds of messages.

Alfred Huger, an experts at Symantec Corp, (Nasdaq: SYMC) estimated that Sober-Q had generated "tens of millions" of spam messages. Each infected machine is probably capable of sending out 10,000 spams per hour.

Not the First
This is not the first time a virus containing political messages, but the Sober-Q may be one of the most effective in recent memory, experts said, noting that virus authors may use this trick again after the success of Sober-Q.

The Sober virus has infected millions of computers around the globe since it first emerged in 2003, and it's gone through nearly 20 variations.

But this weekend's version was different since it wasn't designed to spread itself, or to infect other computers with toxic e-mail messages. It isn't spreading, and only previously infected computers were at risk of infection, experts said

website taken :

Hmm..... I have expected this as most mailing worms are so nasty and tricky to predict wht's next for their alias name.

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