America Online has implemented a fix to prevent further distribution of a worm that began attacking ICQ instant message software users earlier this week.
The block was implemented on ICQ's servers and does not require any action from ICQ users.
The Bizex worm spreads through instant-messaging exchanges, a less common method for viruses than e-mail transmission.
Kaspersky Labs noted that it only affected users running ICQ through the ICQ client application, not those tapping the ICQ network through outside applications such as Trillian. AOL added that only ICQ Pro users were affected. Those running other versions of ICQ, including ICQ Lite, were not vulnerable.
An AOL spokeswoman said the company is working toward a solution for ICQ Pro users whose computers were affected and are now having trouble running ICQ. The company recommended that its users run and maintain antivirus software.
Instant messaging is attracting increasing attention from those spreading malicious and deceptive applications. A virus-like game that installs a program to serve ads on a user's PC tore through the ranks of AOL Instant Messenger users earlier this month.
Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service