Computer virus attacks Norway

A new version of the well-known Sobig virus turned up on the Internet on Tuesday and email inboxes all over Norway are invaded by virus emails.

Sobig.F is the name of the virus spreading on the Internet the last 24 hours. The virus is being sent to random email addresses and constantly swaps sender address.

The virus has a search engine built into it that looks for email addresses to send itself to, using fake sender addresses.

"This seems to be a worm and it spreads very speedily. For some reason Norway is hit especially hard. It is important to update the signature files on the computer right away, otherwise it will be very difficult to get rid of the virus. Still, it is very tricky to get completely rid of it", said Roger Haug at Computer Associates.

26 percent of all Sobig attacks happen in Norway at the moment, according to Messagelabs. The Netherlands and the UK are ht hard as well. The Sobig.F virus is reported in 50 countries and 23,000 machines are hit so far.

Asked how people can secure themselves against this virus, Haug said:

"Firstly, it is important to have updated software. Also, turn off the preview window in Outlook. We do not know whether the virus is being spread automatically even if the preview is turned off, but some of the danger is removed by doing this".

The virus was detected in the US on Monday, according to Messagelab. The virus is said not to do any harm on computers but the rapid spreading could hamper Internet traffic and overload email systems.

The new Sobig virus manages to sneak past antivirus programmes. It takes advantage of a weakness in Outlook ad hits anyone who has not updated the software. Anyone using Windows based systems should make sure they update the safety packages and keep their anti virus programs as new as possible, updating at least once a week.

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