Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Mar 7 12:43:36 MST 2001

March 6, 2001

'Naked Wife' Virus Hits Computers


Filed at 5:34 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A destructive computer virus hit at least 30
organizations and one federal agency Tuesday, security experts said.

Like the most recent widespread virus that used the name of tennis star
Anna Kournikova, this new program called ``Naked Wife'' takes advantage of
users ``baser instincts,'' an antivirus company spokeswoman said.

Steve Trilling, director of research at the Symantec Antivirus Research
Center, said about 20 of Symantec's clients in Canada, the United States
and Europe had been hit.

Trilling said the virus, which appears with the subject line ``FW: Naked
Wife,'' deletes almost all of a computer's vital system files. It also
sends itself out to everyone in the user's e-mail address book.

``It essentially destroys your Windows operating system,'' he said.

Trilling said the virus may have come from Brazil. Information inside the
virus source code mentions AGF Brasil, an insurance company, and the name

``One could fake this stuff, but indications in a virus for the most part
tend to be correct,'' Trilling said, adding that names found in the recent
``Love Letter'' virus eventually led to that program's creator.

The virus e-mail contains an attachment called ``NakedWife.exe.'' Like most
viruses, the recipient's computer is only infected if the receiver runs the
attachment, and major antivirus companies have released software that
detects and removes it.

Susan Orbach, spokeswoman for Trend Micro, said her company has received
reports of infections from 10 corporate clients, including two large
telecommunications firms, a federal agency and a ``multinational
conglomerate,'' she said.

``This is not any new technology we haven't seen before,'' Orbach said.
``It's social engineering to take advantage of our baser instincts.''

Both Trilling and Orbach suggested that corporate network administrators
block incoming program attachments, since it seems that computer users will
continue to click on suspicious attachments, no matter how many times
they're stung.

``Very few people have a legitimate reason to receive executable files in
e-mail,'' Orbach said. ``Haven't people learned?''

Louis Proyect
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