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New Version of Bugbear Strikes

A variant of the Bugbear mass-mailing worm started hitting corporate networks late last week, prompting the first worm alert since Microsoft launched its Virus Information Alliance.

W32/Bugbear.B@MM spreads through e-mail and network shares. A complex piece of malware, Bugbear.B contains a mass-mailer, a network share propagator, a keylogger, a remote access trojan, a polymorphic parasitic file infector and a security software terminator.

The worm sends itself to addresses found on the local system in files and e-mail messages, and it spoofs e-mail addresses in the from field, as well. That means that the apparent sender of a Bugbear.B-infected e-mail isn't necessarily infected. Attachments carrying the worm's payload often have a double file extension.

While Microsoft rates the severity as "moderate" and Trend Micro calls it "medium" risk, McAfee assesses the risk as "high."

Microsoft posted an alert about Bugbear.B on Thursday on the virus information page that accompanies its Virus Information Alliance, which includes Network Associates and Trend Micro. The VIA launched last month. The virus page can be found at www.microsoft.com/technet/treeview/?url=/technet/security/virus/alerts/.

While the program is new, Microsoft's virus alerts are not. The Bugbear.B alert is Microsoft's fourth of the year. The company also alerted users to Slammer and Fizzer, and posted a warning about Palyh the same day as the Virus Information Alliance launched.

About the Author

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

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