Viruses Disguised as Christmas Greetings

In the last few days, Klez.I has been appearing in messages with ‘Happy Christmas’ as the subject

With Christmas approaching, the customary deluge of e-mail greetings and graphic applications with festive themes begins to reach our inboxes. This unfortunately gives virus creators a perfect opportunity to create viruses that use these messages to fool users and trick them into opening files which contain malicious code.

One worm taking advantage of this is Klez.I, which is capable of modifying the subject headings of the messages it sends. This characteristic makes Klez.I difficult for users to spot, because the worm can create various subject headings from the words used in e-mails and files found in the infected computer. Due to this, and the fact that many users send greetings messages at this time of year, Panda Software’s SOS Virus service has received a host of e-mails with the Klez.I variant, using the following messages: “Happy Christmas”, “Happy funny Christmas”, “Have a funny Christmas”, etc.

Another code using similar tactics to attract users’ attention is Bride.B, which first appeared in November and which includes the phrase “I wish you a merry Christmas and happy new year” in the message body.

To prevent these ‘camouflaged’ viruses from dampening the holiday spirit, Panda Software recommends that you keep your guard up and treat e-mail messages you receive with great caution. The leading antivirus software developer also recommends that users adopt some basic security measures, including regularly updating your antivirus solution and scanning all attached files before opening them. It is also recommended that users take care when browsing unfamiliar web pages, as these can be used to install malicious code -almost always Trojans- into the computers of web page visitors.

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