FBI warns of fake ‘security agency’ Sober virus
24 November 2005
SAN FRANCISCO – The FBI is warning about a fast-spreading computer virus that tricks users by pretending to be a message from U.S. law enforcement agencies. A German version of the spoof purports to be from the Bundeskriminalamt, the German national police agency.
The new variation of the Sober virus tells recipients that their Internet use has been monitored by the FBI and that they have accessed illegal Web sites, according to the FBI.
The e-mails appear to come from e-mail addresses, including [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected], then direct recipients to open an attachment and answer questions.
“These e-mails did not come from the FBI,” the FBI said in a posted statement. “Recipients of this or similar solicitations should know that the FBI does not engage in the practice of sending unsolicited e-mails to the public in this manner.”
On Wednesday, digital security firm Symantec rated the new virus on a threat level of 3 out of 5 and reiterated warnings to users never to open attachments from unconfirmed sources.
Antivirus vendor Sophos said that the latest worm now accounts for more than 65 percent of all malicious software and that it constituted about one in every 74 e-mail messages being sent on the Internet.
Once launched, the Sober virus scans the user’s hard drive for e- mail addresses and sends the bogus e-mail to new recipients. After that, it awaits further instructions from its creator, effectively transforming the infected system into a remote-controlled zombie computer that can be used for further spamming or computer attacks.
Variations of the worm have been circulating for about two years.
Subject: German news