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Computer Associates Warns of New Virus

Computer Associates International Inc. (www.cai.com) has begun warning the IT community about "Plage2000," a new worm which could threaten e-mail systems as well as e-business infrastructures.

The worm arrives as a reply to an e-mail message previously sent by the user. The original e-mail will be quoted completely in the reply, and the worm-bearing e-mail contains the following text:

P2000 Mail auto-reply:

' I'll try to reply as soon as possible.

Take a look to the attachment and send me your opinion! '

> Get your FREE P2000 Mail now! <

The worm is attached to the message under one of several names, including pics.exe, images.exe, joke.exe, hamster.exe, tamagotxi.exe, searchURL.exe, SETUP.EXE, s3msong.exe, docs.exe, or humor.exe. On execution, the worm will present itself as a self-extracting WinZip file. The worm then copies itself to the Windows directory under the name INETD.EXE and adds itself to the registry "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT|CurrentVersion\Windows\run =\INETD.EXE".

The worm will attempt to establish a connection to a running Outlook or Exchange client every five minutes. When new e-mail messages are received it will reply to unread e-mails with a reply similar to the one described. Although the worm does not have a destructive payload, its propagation mechanism poses a threat to Exchange e-mail infrastructures since it can overload and crash the mail server. -- Isaac Slepner

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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