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Bugbear of a New Worm Hits the Web

Antivirus vendors warned customers on Tuesday that corporate networks worldwide were being hit by a new worm, appropriately called Bugbear, which is listed in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a synonym for "problem."

"Bugbear … spreads by sending itself in e-mails and copying itself around a network. In this respect, it is much like Klez and Elkern, which are the chart-topping viruses of 2002," Chris Wraight, a technology consultant at antivirus vendor Sophos, said in a statement.

The worm exploits vulnerabilities in some versions of Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Outlook Express and Internet Explorer that allow an executable attachment to run without being double clicked, according to Sophos.

The worm installs several files in the Startup folder with names that consist of randomly generated letters followed by .exe or .dll.

Standard antivirus procedures should stop this bugbear the same way they stop similar worms.

Other dictionary definitions for bugbear include an imaginary goblin or specter used to incite fear, (an especially apt name for a computer virus), or a continued source of irritation. Only time will tell if bugbear hangs around long enough to fulfill the latter definition.

About the Author

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

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