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A new virus has been detected, the Happy New Year worm

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January 9, 2007

Internet security experts have been warning that a new worm virus has been popping up on thousands of computers, just as people have begun firing up their computers and checking their inboxes after the Christmas and New Year Holiday. The worm-type virus contaminates computers and networks when users open a message with the subject heading Happy New Year and click on the attached postcard.exe file.

Indentified as W32.Mixor.Q@mm, the new virus was first uncovered on Dec. 29, but began spreading rapidly last week as people got back to work.

The Mixor virus is a mass mailing worm that drops additional malware on compromised machines, according to a report filed by Ka Chun Leung, security response engineer at Symantec.

The security report rated the virus as a medium threat, but characterized its distribution level as very high. The virus is already being heavily spammed with at least one network sending out five emails per second, according to VeriSign Inc.

VeriSign said the worm can install several malicious code variants including Tibs, Nwar, Banwaru and Glowa on a victim's computer. Overall, 2006 was capped by a virulent attack on the popular social networking site MySpace.com.

At least one Canadian analyst said worm spreading under the 'Happy New Year' heading appears to be 2007's first publicized attack. "It looks like somebody just decided to start the New Year with a bang," said Joe Green, vice-president, security research, IDC Canada Ltd. in Toronto.

Source: IT World Canada

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