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Goner-A: More pain for Net users

Cliff Saran
A new virus that disables antivirus software has spread across the Internet.

According to a warning from antivirus firm Sophos, the virus spreads by e-mail as a file attachment called GONE.SCR.

Graham Cluley, senior technical consultant at Sophos, said the virus also infects users of the IRC and ICQ instant messaging services as well as e-mail users. He urged users to upgrade their antivirus software before it is deleted by Goner-A.

"If you receive an unsolicited attachment, don't just blindly open it," he advised.

The Sophos helpdesk has received a number of calls about the new virus and Cluley said users of Sophos antivirus software were downloading patches from the company's Web site.

Alex Ship, technologist at antivirus firm MessageLabs, said: "So far today (4 December) we've seen over 4,000 instances of this virus, mainly coming from Europe. It is now spreading across the US."

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