Saturday, January 22, 2005

New Virus Disguised as CNN News

Remember when a virus was the worst thing that could happen to your computer? Today we are battling spyware, data miners, and malacious programs that hijack your browser and track your online activity. But viruses are getting more sneaky too, and more harmful.

The new virus reported today, is called Crowt-A. It pulls headlines, subject lines and other content from Once opened, the virus can then scan the user's address book and try to email itself to those users.

The virus' subject line and attachment share the same name, researchers say, but change continually to match headlines from's home page.

The virus can also plant spyware on your computer. In addition to emailing itself to other users, it installs a "backdoor Trojan function that cansend data such as keystrokes to a remote user -- a practice sometimes used by hackers to obtain sensitive information such as passwords.

Use reputable anti-virus software and be sure it's working. My #1 recommendation is ETrust from Computer Associates at If you have an active subscription to Norton or McAfee, keep updating the virus definition files and make sure it is protecting your e-mail.