St Valentine's Day worm massacre
Virus writers are targeting the world’s lovers by creating Valentine’s Day related malicious code. Two worms, Kipis-H and VBSWG-D, are spreading their love and destructive payload, via email and peer-to-peer networks.
Cashing in on nostalgic lovers VBSWG-D spreads under the subject line "First Love Story...!!!". The grumpy worm, echoing echoing the days of Al Capone, then swears at users before murdering the computer by shutting it down.
Victims receiving an email with the subject line "Happy Valentine's Day" will find the Kipis-H worm. It turns off anti-virus protection, inserts a trojan and forwards emails to other contacts.
"Virus writers will exploit any excuse to dupe innocent computer users," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Hackers send viral valentines to take control of users' PCs, steal personal information, or take screenshots of confidential information, usernames, passwords and credit card numbers."
Valentine's Day has traditionally been a bumper period for virus writers. Sophos claim The Love Bug worm, released in May 2000, was the biggest virus outbreak in history. Despite its ruinous nature the Filipino author was not prosecuted because of the embryonic nature of local computer crime laws.