Antivirus vendors are warning of a Netsky variant that, among other things, exploits the Microsoft MIME header...
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vulnerability to spread on Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP systems.
This vulnerability allows the auto execution of e-mail attachments on systems running Internet Explorer 5.01 or 5.5 without Service Pack 2, according to Santa Clara, Calif.-based McAfee AVERT. A patch was issued several years ago.
"The worm appears to be the next in the now well-known 'virus' war between the creators of Netsky and Bagle," said an advisory from Tokyo-based Trend Micro. "Netsky-P … makes use of celebrity names like 'Britney Spears' and 'Eminem' in the files it drops; its message body also contains statements seeming to originate from certain antivirus vendors declaring that 'no virus' has been found. The subject line varies, but includes a number of seeming harmless examples, such as 'Protected Mail Request', 'Mail Authentication."
Netsky-P propagates via e-mail using its own Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) engine and also spoofs addresses.
"The virus writers are now increasing the complexity of their creations -- possibly an effect of this ongoing 'war', in an attempt to outdo their opponent," David Kopp, head of Trend Micro's TrendLabs Europe, said in a statement. "We are now seeing the inclusion of payloads and social engineering to a far greater degree. Computer users should remain extremely vigilant as this particularly unsettled time."