Simon McClean sent me this clip from The Guardian. I personally have received about twenty emails in the last couple of days with this virus attached but my virus checker has detected it and cleaned the files.
The moral is, make sure your Virus detecting program is up to date. I personally check for updates every day. It's a bit of chore if you do not have a fast connection, but you may well regret it if you don't.
Make sure all your irreplaceable data is also backed up regularly regardless of anything.
The other solution is to use a different email program of which there are many free ones. Nearly all of these viruses as spread through M/S Outlook or Outlook express.
Dave Toye 29th Nov 01
PS Download this free virus program if you don't have one, I have been told it works well but haven't tried it myself.
Wednesday November 28, 2001
If you have noticed some recent virus activity in your Microsoft Outlook inbox, you are in good company: BT's internet business, Openworld, has admitted sending its customers Badtrans, the internet's latest successful email virus.
A company employee accidentally sent emails infected with the virus to an unknown number of its users on Friday, the first day the virus appeared, BT spokesman Tony Henderson said. Badtrans is a particularly nasty problem for computer users as it gives hackers "Trojan horse" access to credit card details and passwords. Mr Henderson, said: "We believe the number of people affected was just in double figures. As soon as we spotted what appeared to be happening we stopped email transmission."
Mr Henderson said BT Openworld could not fully trace which customers had received the infected emails. People would only be able to detect whether they have been infected by installing anti-virus software which can identify the programme, he said. "We are in touch with customers directly and we will be emailing them to offer advice. We will tell them to install a virus guard and firewall," he said.
However, BT Openworld's own security measures and anti-virus software did not prevent infection and have not allowed the company to trace how its computers became infected. The company does not believe any of its sensitive data can be accessed but it is now reviewing its anti-virus protection.
Badtrans operates by installing a Trojan horse programme on a computer's hard drive, which then records every keystroke and logs the information in a hidden file which hackers can collect. This includes credit card details, secret passwords and other sensitive information.
Mark Sunner, from anti-virus technology company MessageLabs, said Badtrans was spreading fast and constituted a serious viral outbreak. "It is definitely the biggest virus in the UK, and currently the most active worldwide. We saw it appear first in the UK, and the UK seems to be bearing the brunt of it. I'd say it is a fair bet that this variant originated in the UK," Mr Sunner said.
Badtrans attacks Microsoft Outlook email accounts and computers can become infected without opening the file - simply previewing the email is enough to activate the "Trojan".
Badtrans spreads by sending copies of itself to the senders of any unread emails in the Outlook inbox and then when activated to everyone in the user's email address book. It is contained in file attachments, the names of which are variable. Some of the most common include pics.doc.scr, humor.mp3.scr, sorry-about-yesterday.nm3.pif, readme.mp3.pif and me-nude.mp3.scr.