A new variant of the Sober worm is deluging the world with German right-wing political spam.
The Sober.Q variant follows the recent unleashing of Sober.P, which used the promise of free World Cup football tickets to tempt users to open the attachment that spread the worm.
Internet security company SurfControl said that its Australian centre had been monitoring the quick spread of the Sober.Q from Sunday afternoon.
Within a short time, 1,000 of the German e-mails had been received by SurfControl - about 40 times the number usually received when a worm or virus hits.
Once an infected attachment is opened, the worm replicates by sending itself to all the people in the infected computer’s address book.
Sober first reared its head in 2003.