Valentine virus alert

30 Jan 2007

As Valentine’s Day approaches, PC users are warned to be suspicious of emails from unknown sources with love-related subject lines.

The warning comes after the past month saw virus activity on the internet increase dramatically as a result of the Storm worm and the ‘Happy New Year’ worm.

Internet security firm Postini said that over the three-day period when the Storm worm was active, from 19-21 January, it stopped more than 29 million infected messages from reaching the 36,000 businesses it provides email security services for.

On 20 January alone Postini said it blocked almost 17 million infected email messages, nearly 20 times the average daily virus volume in 2006.

At the peak of the ‘Happy New Year’ worm, which circulated between 29-31 December, Postini blocked 19.5 million messages infected with the worm and its variants.

These two attacks were the largest to occur in the past 12 months.

“The explosion of botnets, millions of infected computers controlled by malicious actors around the world, has changed the balance of power in the world communications security,” said Daniel Druker, executive vice-president of marketing at Postini. “As Valentine’s Day approaches, email users should continue to keep their guard up as there are already new mutations of the Storm worm with love-related subject lines.”

By Niall Byrne