The VBS/Chick-F virus spreads via email and internet relay chat posing as a web utility to see up-to-the-minute results from the football championship.
"Whoever wrote this virus is aiming to exploit football fans around the world, hungry for news about their team's progress," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus. "System administrators should ensure that staff who forget to feign illness and actually turn up at work don't incur the penalties a virus infection can bring."
The new virus typically arrives in an email with the subject "RE: Korea Japan Results". If the recipient runs the attached file and follows its instructions to enable ActiveX the worm will attempt to spread via Internet Relay Chat and forward itself to everyone in the user's address book.
Sophos has received no reports of the virus in the wild to date, but notes that it comes just days after it warned companies of the dangers of lax security during the World Cup competition. Sophos advises users to keep their anti-virus protection up-to-date and to be suspicious of all unsolicited email attachments.
In 1998, in the run-up to the World cup competition in France, another football-inspired virus asked infected victims to gamble on who the winner might be, and if the user did not choose the right team triggered a warhead which was capable of wiping all the data off the hard drive.
More details about VBS/Chick-F can be found on the Sophos website at: