Virus Watch: The Klez Worm

Tips & Hints

The little worm that could: How the Klez worm is taking over our computers.

Posted 22 May 2002

The Klez worm isn’t a new worm, nor is it paticularly original. But it’s proving to be one of the most effective yet.

The latest wave of Klez worms appeared in early April and we didn’t think much of it. But over the last few weeks infections have steadily built up into an epidemic. We've been receiving at least twenty calls a week about it for the last month.

Klez is so effective because it uses all the common tricks available to virus writers. It's "features" include infected attachments, legitimate sounding subject lines and Windows scripting, which means that many people get infected without even opening the thing.

A paticularly interesting trick is that it inserts a false from address. We’ve seen a number of people reduced to tears because they’ve been falsely accused of sending the virus. If you do receive the Klez worm, you can be almost certain it didn’t come from the person shown in the from field.

The protection against Klez is the same for all viruses. Get an anti-virus program and keep it up to date. If you use Outlook and Outlook Express, disable the preview panes and tighten up your e-mail security. Be suspicious of any mail, even from people you know. Finally, keep your system up-to-date with Windows security updates.

Remember that we are all at risk from viruses, security holes and data loss. While Microsoft products are the biggest risk, no-one is immune. Don’t assume you can’t get a virus because your web browser is Netscape or Opera, your operating system is Linux, or your computer’s a Mac. You can be affected and you should make sure you are protected.

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