A worm is likely to cause some problems on3 February, though security researchers hope that by stressing the risks in advance, businesses may be able to avoid serious disruption.
The Nyxem worm, dubbed the Kama Sutra worm because of its enticement to would-be users through pornography, is programmed to overwrite all of the files on computers it infects on the third day of every month.
Although most antivirus vendors have issued updated definitions, Nyxem is still spreading rapidly, possibly because it is taking advantage of computers that have already had their antivirus software disabled by other viruses such as Bagle.
The worm, which is spread through email, disables security software on the computer and then harvests email addresses from infected PCs. It comes with an emailing engine and installs itself in the registry.
The need for corporate networks to protect themselves and fend off an attack is likely to mean noticeably slower email response rates this week.
It’ll be intriguing to see how much ‘success’ the Kama Sutra worm has this week. If it cons a string of users with its ‘seductive’ message, then nearly six years on from the I Love You bug, those users will have retained nothing about email security. If the worm has little effect, then perhaps we’re making some progress.