Updated Doing the rounds is a mass-mailing virus which promises photos from a party but delivers only embarrassment for Windows users.
The worm, Myparty, may appear to have come from a colleague or friend and arrives as an email with the subject line 'new photos from my party!'.
Attached to the email is a file called 'www.myparty.yahoo.com', which is not - repeat, not - a link to a Web site.
Once the file (actually a .COM executable extension) is launched the worm sends a copy of itself to every contact in the Windows Address book. It also sends an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, presumably in order to allow its author to track its spread.
The worm uses a cunning variant of well known social engineering tricks to spread itself, according to Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus.
Myparty may slow down computer users' email and Internet connections but is not believed to be particularly damaging.
Although spreading, the Myparty outbreak is far short of hitting the epidemic proportions associated with damaging nasties such as Love Bug, Sir Cam or the Nimda worm.
MessageLabs, a managed service provider which scans its users email for viruses, reports having blocked more than 8,000 copies of the worm.
Antivirus vendors are updating their software to pick up the virus and protection is now largely in place. ®
McAfee.com reports that the worm drops a backdoor Trojan (BackDoor-AAF) on WindowsNT/2K/XP systems. Myparty only attempts to mass mail itself and insert the Trojan if the system date is between January 25-29, 2002.