Kama Sutra e-mail virus primed to strike today
Important information stored on home computers could be wiped clean by an e-mail virus called Kama Sutra that is timed to strike today.
Computer engineers say the virus has been infecting hundreds of thousands of machines across the world since being identified on 16 January. It is being circulated as a pornographic attachment to e-mails and spreads by e-mailing itself to other addresses from an infected computer. On the third day of every month it deletes files.
The virus targets computers using Microsoft Windows but, unlike many other recent viruses, deletes many popular types of file, including spreadsheets and presentations.
A website associated with the virus estimated it has now reached more than 300,000 victims. Its impact is likely to be greatest on home computers because most businesses have current anti-virus protection.
The virus got its name because some of its variations refer to the Kama Sutra guide to sexual positions but is also known as "Nyxem-E, Grew.A", "MyWife" or "BlackWorm". It appears as an e-mail with subject lines such as "Hot Movie" or "Miss Lebanon 2006".
Affected files include Oracle, Word, Adobe Acrobat, Photshop, Excel and PowerPoint. Because so many of the applications are used in offices, experts believe the virus may be aimed at businesses.
Ken Dunham, from the US internet security firm VeriSign, said: "This attack is under way and will be activated unless people get virus removal tools.
"If you have opened an e-mail and your computer froze up, you should be very concerned."
- 1 Qataris pledge to expand Canary Wharf
- 2 #JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
- 3 Women think Irish men are the sexiest, survey finds
- 4 Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
- 5 Watch eerie drone footage of destroyed building in Stalingrad
#JeSuisEd: People share photos of themselves eating awkwardly in solidarity with Labour leader
Florida couple forced to register as sex offenders for having sex on public beach
UK election candidates: 'Nasty party' Ukip faces fresh questions on eve of vote
Who should I vote for in the general election? Take The Independent's interactive quiz to find out which party's the right choice for you
Ohio 'Shawshank Redemption' fugitive Frank Freshwater arrested after 56 years on the run
In defence of liberal democracy
General Election 2015: Post-election 'shambles' looms as 70 per cent of voters say SNP 'should not be able to veto UK government policies'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
General election live: SNP suspends two members for disrupting Labour rally
General election live: Booths open at 7am across the country on polling day
£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...
£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...