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Virus writers feed-off dirty minds

The latest e-mail-borne virus is luring people into clicking on its deadly attachment with the promise of a free glimpse at a naked wife.

Virus writers are betting that the promise of free pornography will be the most prolific way to encourage people to open deadly e-mail attachments.

Another Visual Basic virus, discovered Tuesday and called W32/Naked@MM, lures potential victims with the subject line "Naked Wife." The message body reads: "My wife never look like that! ;-)". It carries an attachment, NakedWife.exe.

People clicking on the forbidden fruit and hoping to watch a Flash movie will instead end up sending the virus to all E-mail entries in their Windows address books. The virus then tries to delete all .bmp, .com, .dll, .exe, .ini, and .log files in the Windows and WindowsSystem directories.

The Middle East will be as exposed to the Naked Wife virus as any other region. Local ISPs police Web browsing to prevent pornographic sites being accessed, but they do not provide e-mail content filtering that might catch a potentially pornographic attachment.

Getting infected with the Naked Wife virus would prove embarrassing as well as painful, says Robin Duff, editor of Windows User Magazine Middle East. "Since the virus e-mails itself to all your contacts, you could be sending Naked Wife e-mails to all your business associates that show you are the type of person that opens pornographic attachments. Your reputation, as well as your PC, are going to get damaged," he warned.

Patrick Nolan, a virus researcher with McAfee's Avert Research Center said that as of Tuesday, about 18 companies--including some Fortune 500 firms--had reported infections. "This virus has a destructive payload," Nolan says.

He says he's unsure whether this virus will spread like other recent Visual Basic viruses such as the Love Bug. "It's been about an average virus as far as the number of infections reported to us today," he said. One of the virus' mitigating factors is that it requires Visual Basic 6 or higher runtime files. Most major antivirus software can detect it, including McAfee, Sophos, and Symantec.

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