Screensaver worm spreading fast – Sophos protects against Goner-A

Sophos, a world leader in corporate anti-virus protection, is warning users to beware of the Goner worm (W32/Goner-A). First detected on 4 December, 2001, Sophos has already received a significant amount of calls from infected users.

The email arrives with the subject line ‘Hi’ and carries an infected attachment called GONE.SCR, posing as a screensaver. Once activated, the worm spreads to all contacts in the user’s Outlook address book.

“This worm highlights the importance of being suspicious about anything that arrives unexpectedly in your inbox,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus. “Worms like these are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Posing as innocent games, pictures or screensavers, they are in fact much more sinister. Even if the email appears to have come from a friend, it still should not be automatically trusted.”

Once activated, the worm attempts to disable a number of different anti-virus products from the infected computer by deleting files from the installation directory. Sophos is urging computer users to update their anti-virus protection now and be wary of all emails containing unsolicited attachments.

Sophos has issued protection against this worm.

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