Emails claiming to contain video clips of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden are likely to be example of a new computer worm.
The Famus-F worm normally arrives in the form of a bilingual English and Spanish email, with the subject line "More terrorism this year". The message body states: "Last speech from Bin Laden. Please forwards this video to everybody." and includes a password - "cnn".
If executed, the worm attempts to forward itself to email addresses found on infected computers. It also drops a number of files onto the hard drive. Fortunately, Famus-F is not spreading very successfully. Even so, vigilance is advisable.
The worm is yet another example of virus writers using a topical subject to trick users into running malicious code. In July virus writers tried to trick users into opening a Trojan horse on their PC by passing malicious code off as a "suicide photographs" of bin Laden. This wasn't particularly successful, but that didn't stop the repeated use of the ploy in attempts to spread the Hackarmy Trojan in the last four months. ®