UK managed internet and e-mail security specialist, intY, reported the first instances of the Zaffi D worm within hours of other anti-virus companies warning of the worm affecting internet users outside of the UK.
Over 20,000 attacks were blocked by intY's MailDefender service from noon on 14 December 2004. The worm appears to be a Christmas e-mail from a customer or supplier; but it is in fact a piece of software which loads itself onto the recipient's system and could be activated at a latter date to cause disruption or other forms of damage.
Mark Herbert, chief executive of intY, said, "It is sad that virus writers are exploiting the festive season in this way. Even if Zaffi is mischievous rather than malign, this kind of attack wastes the precious time of IT managers so it pays to not drop your guard.
"A combination of educating users to be wary and accurate anti-virus scanning services will mean a festive season without headaches - or at least those caused by viruses and spam."
All internet users need to look out for messages with the title "Happy Hollydays" and the "Merry Christmas" subject line.
For further information about Zaffi D visit www.intY.com/news/zafi-d.html
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