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New 'Gigger' Worm Spreading Slowly

January 17, 2002|Reuters

A new computer worm masquerading as a software update from Microsoft Corp. is capable of deleting all files on the hard drive of an infected computer but has so far spread slowly, an anti-virus vendor said Monday.

The so-called Gigger worm is a low threat since so few computers have been infected, said Vincent Gullotto, senior research director for Network Associates Inc.'s Antivirus Response Team.

"It's a mass-mailer with a dangerous payload, but it's not in the wild," he said. "If it was to begin to spread it could cause significant problems."

Few people apparently have been duped into opening the attachment, and that has limited the spread of the worm, Gullotto said.

The worm, a self-propagating virus, is written in Java script and uses Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express and MIRC Internet Relay Chat channels to spread.

Gigger arrives as an attachment to an e-mail that has a subject line of "Outlook Express Update." The worm sends itself to addresses in the address book and tries to delete all files on the hard drive, Gullotto said.

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