World Cup e-mail spreads virus

ACCORDING TO several computer security companies, there is a new e-mail message circulating on the internet that announces the chance for users to win tickets for the 2006 Football World Cup. However, the message is false and is only ‘sheltering’ a variant of the “Sober” virus.

The organising committee of the 2006 World Cup in Germany has recently issued a warning about the situation. According to the commitee, “the dangerous computer virus” is lodged in a link that allows users to obtain more information about buying tickets for the event. The committee calls attention to the sending of e-mail messages.

“E-mails received by users of and have provided clear indications that a message is contaminated by a virus,” explained the press release. Other sources explain that the e-mail has a message attached, a .zip file that, when opened, installs a ‘backdoor’ on the PC, a variant of the damaging “Sober” worm that infiltrates the computer’s software.

It is important to highlight that the dangerous messages are written in English and in German, although experts believe the culprit is German. It is mentioned that one of the consequences of the “Sober” is that, once installed on the PC, it automatically reproduces and sends e-mails to the user’s list of contacts.

Trend Micro believes that the worm problem is at a stage of ‘red alert’. Meanwhile, McAfee classifies the variant of the established virus as ‘medium risk’. A source from F-Secure comments that “computer users must update their anti-virus software to ensure protection against the most recent bugs”.