New celebrity virus: Catherine Zeta-Jones

Friday, 14 February 2003, 12:31 AM EST

Anti-virus firm Sophos has detected a virus hidden in a file which offers recipients some smutty pictures of Mrs. Michael Douglas.

Although the firm says customers have reported instances of the virus in the wild there are no known cases of infection. Users at risk are those using file-sharing service Kazaa and internet relay chat (IRC) instant messaging through which the virus can travel.

The use of the actress, currently enjoying unprecedented media coverage on the back of awards nominations and a high-profile court case against Hello! magazine in the UK, follows the growing trend towards social engineering on the part of virus writers. Typically such files, generally spread via email, purport to contain pictures of attractive females--with the likes of Latino lovely Shakira, Russian tennis ace Anna Kournikova and US singer Jennifer Lopez all being used to disseminate malware in the past.

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