An insidious e-mail virus remained in the top five Google searches Friday, a day after it snarled traffic and took down servers at ABC, NASA, Comcast, and Google -- and possibly even swamped the Department of Homeland Security's computers.
The Internet Storm Center, a free analysis and warning service that tracks malicious Internet activity, reported that the initial application that generated the vast cloud of spam clogging servers had been taken down, which should limit the spread of the virus Friday. And there were no new reports of infected servers Friday morning -- but the Web may not be out of the woods just yet.
"New variants may well follow," the Storm Center warned.
The virus, called “here you have” (or VBMania, though different security companies have different names for the same virus), is a simple Trojan Horse: An e-mail arrives in your inbox with the odd-but-suggestive subject line “here you have.” The body reads “This is The Document I told you about, you can find it Here” or “This is The Free Download Sex Movies, you can find it Here.”
Click the link in the message and you download and launch a program that spams the same Trojan Horse out to everyone in your address book, flooding and crippling e-mail servers.
Leading virus monitors such as McAfee Labs and Symantec are currently investigating the threat, and have already updated their website to push security products that could protect users.
"Stop or remove the virus with Norton Internet Security
2011," advises Symantec on the front page of its site Friday morning. The security companies describe "here you have" as especially challenging to monitor, since the virus may already have replicated into several new forms.
“It looks like multiple variants may be spreading and it may take some time to work through them all to paint a clearer picture,” warned Craig Schmugar on McAfee’s Threat Response page.