Businesses should brace themselves for a further spread of the Kama Sutra worm next Friday (3 February), as the worm is programmed to try and replicate itself from already-infected machines.
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The worm, also given the name Nyxem.E by security software suppliers, will at the same time attempt to delete certain files on infected machines – it has been programmed to do this on the third day of every month.
It is estimated that the worm, which is spread by users opening an attachment promising porn images, has already infected around 500,000 machines worldwide.
The worm first appeared on 16 January and almost immediately went to the top of the virus and worm threat charts compiled by security software suppliers.
The programmed date for further attacks is similar to the technique used by the latest version of the Sober worm, which has appeared in recent weeks.
That worm was programmed to replicate on the date of the formation of the German Nazi party, and is believed to have originated in Germany.
All major security software suppliers have already issued patches for Kama Sutra. But they say that even those companies that already have installed protection against the worm could be affected by slower e-mail response rates next week as networks fend off the worm’s replication attempts.