SOBER.S infected PCs turn spambots, FrontBridge Technologies advises

LONDON - May 10, 2005 - FrontBridge Technologies blocked more than 588 million instances of the SOBER.S virus on 7 May, up 186.8 per cent from 205 million instances on 2 May, indicating that computers infected by the virus are being transformed into spambots.

A spambot hijacks a computer and uses it to relay spam or virus infected email, typically without the users' knowledge.

The SOBER.S worm uses social engineering techniques to send out an email supposedly from the football association, FIFA, informing recipients they've won tickets to the FIFA World Cup in Germany. The messages are tailored to the language of the recipients based on country-level domains.

SOBER.S has contributed significantly to an email spike FrontBridge is viewing on its network because of the viruses' characteristic of sending mail to 25 to 30 recipients at a time. Typical virus email is sent to three to five recipients at a time.

FrontBridge Total Message Management identifies email with a virus payload and stops it from reaching an organisation's network. Currently more than 3,700 businesses worldwide are protected by FrontBridge.

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