E-mail threat pretends to come from within

Having warded off Slammer and Code Red, IT users are facing a new threat: their system administrators. Or rather, users worldwide are being warned of the danger of a new mass-mailing virus, which disguises itself as a file sent by a network administrator.

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By  Peter Branton Published  August 4, 2003

Having warded off Slammer and Code Red, IT users are facing a new threat: their system administrators. Or rather, users worldwide are being warned of the danger of a new mass-mailing virus, which disguises itself as a file sent by a network administrator.

Since it was first detected last Friday the worm, dubbed Mimail by anti-virus firms, has been found in nearly 100 countries, with anti-virus firm MessageLabs stopping more than 50,000 e-mails containing it. The vendor is giving Mimail high risk status.

Mimail comes in an e-mail featuring ‘your account” in the subject line, and the body message tells the user that his e-mail address will soon expire and to “please read attachment for details.” The attachment contains the virus, which when released attempts to mass e-mail itself by capturing e-mail addresses from the user’s hard drive. The social engineering aspects of the virus are believed to be helping it spread.

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