A worm disguised as a Valentine greeting is spreading fast across the internet, according to security firm Sophos.
The Dref-AB worm was spread via e-mail in readiness for office workers and home computer users to find the malicious Valentine e-mail in their inbox first thing this morning.
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
Since midnight, the Dref-AB worm has accounted for 76.4% of all malware sighted at Sophos’s global network of virus monitoring stations.
Subject lines used in the attack are many and varied, but all pose as a romantic message. Some of them include A Valentine Love Song, Be My Valentine, Fly Away Valentine, For My Valentine, Happy Valentine's Day, My LuckyValentine, and My Valentine.
The worm is attached to the e-mails in files called flash postcard.exe, greeting postcard.exe, greeting card.exe, or postcard.exe.
"This new Valentine attack is spreading hard and fast across the web, accounting for over three-quarters of all the malware we've seen at e-mail gateways around the globe since 14 February began," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
"People will be truly lovesick if they let the virus run on their PC."
Opening the attached files on a PC activates the worm, which then sends itself to other e-mail addresses found on the now infected computer.
Sophos believes the worm code is designed to download further malicious code from the internet in an attempt to take over the PC, convert it into part of a zombie network, and use it to send spam on behalf of hacking gangs.
David Lacey’s security blog
The latest ideas, best practices, and business issues associated with managing security
Stuart King’s risk management blog
Dealing with the operational challenges of information security and risk management
Comment on this article: email@example.com