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New Web virus likely prelude to bigger attack: Experts

Experts are warning that a rapidly spreading e-mail virus could be a prelude to a broader attack.

tech reviews Updated: Jan 23, 2004 13:12 IST

A rapidly spreading e-mail virus has made some experts concerned that it could be a prelude to a broader series of attacks or a fresh spam effort.

The virus, known as Bagle or Beagle, spread quickly over the weekend, with several security firms issuing bulletins on it.

Although the virus— known as a worm because it replicates itself andsends out more copies via e-mail — does not appear to damage computers, experts are concerned that it installs a program on the computers of users who open the attachment.

This could enable the virus authors to send out barrages of e-mail advertising that could generate money. Experts say this is a relatively new development in viruses, which had been linked in the past to hackers trying to show technical prowess or expose security flaws.

"It seems perfectly possible that Bagle is yet another worm written by spammers," says Mikko Hypponen of the Finnish-based security firm F-Secure.