No PC worm threats in Jan so far

Chennai, Jan 27 | Updated: Jan 28 2005, 05:30am hrs
January, 2005 could well be the first January in the last three years to be free of software virus outbreaks. This differs from the last two years, when the first couple of outbreaks for the year were recorded in the second or third week of January.

According to Trend Micro Inc, a provider of virus protection products and services, at least two outbreaks could, therefore, be expected before the end of January this year. However, if no alert is called during the next week, January 2005 would be the first virus outbreak-free, January since 2003. In fact, the last virus alert was called by Trend Micro on December 14, 2004 to control the spread of the mass-mailing WORMZAFI.D which has so far infected more than 30,000 systems, mostly in Europe.

Meanwhile, the latest malware to do the rounds, is the mass-mailing worm, WORMZAR which is riding on the popularity of the Tsunami tragedy. The worm poses as an e-mail appealing for donations for the victims of the earthquake-spawned tidal waves. This worm propagates through e-mail using MAPI (Messaging Application Programming Interface).

It gathers target e-mail addresses from Microsoft Outlook and sends a copy of itself as an attachment to target recipients. However, WORMZAR.A, has not posted a single infection in Trend Micros World Tracking Center, which monitors systems scanned by Trend Micros online virus scanner, Housecall.