New Bugbear spreading fast

Friday, 6 June 2003, 12:57 AM EST

Messagelabs, which runs outsourced e-mail servers for 700,000 customers around the world, has labeled the worm "high risk" and reports more than 31,000 infections in 120 countries.

Computer Associates expert Jakub Kaminsky on Wednesday confirmed the company's anti-virus laboratories had received their first sample of the variant from an Australian user late on Thursday afternoon, Australian time. Other security firms have also discovered the new worm "in the wild", or affecting computers outside the lab. IDefense first found Bugbear.B in Australia and the United States on Wednesday, and said it has since gained ground rapidly.

The first Bugbear worm spread rapidly last autumn, creating about 320,000 infected messages in its first week, according to MessageLabs. This week has already seen another significant virus threat emerge with the spread of W32/Sobig.C-mm, which has generated about 30,000 infected messages per day this week, according to MessageLabs.

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