Bin Laden Video Email Is Really A Virus

Experts at Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against viruses and spam, are warning users to be on their guard against emails claiming to contain videos of Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden as they really contain a malicious computer worm.

The Famus-F worm (W32/Famus-F) has been discovered in the wake of George W Bush’s re-election as President of the United States of America, and less than a week after an Arabic television station broadcast the first videoed speech by Osama Bin Laden since the US-led war in Afghanistan.

The worm arrives in the form of a bilingual English and Spanish email, with the subject line ‘More terrorism this year’. The message body reads: ‘Last speech from Bin Laden. Please forwards this video to everybody.’ and includes a password – ‘cnn’.

“Hackers and virus writers will try all kinds of topical tricks to entice people into running their malicious code,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. “It seems this time that the virus writer has focused on the public’s appetite for breaking news on the war against terror.”

“There will be many who will be interested to know how terrorists will react to George W Bush’s success at the polls,” continued Cluley. “Those people should not lower their guard and be fooled into accepting unsolicited email attachments.”

If executed, the worm attempts to forward itself to email addresses found on infected computers and drops a number of files onto the hard drive. Hidden inside the virus is some Spanish text which translates into English as:

‘This computer has been infected with the LIBERTAD (FREEDOM) virus. This is to protest against the violation of free expression rights. Now all the data in your hard drive is been erased The Hobbit’

Reassuringly, the Famus-F worm is not spreading very successfully, however Sophos reminds computer users to be wary of any unexpected email and to always run up-to-date anti-virus software.

More information about this new worm can be found at:




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