[Histonet] Background on virus

From:LuAnn Anderson

                From CNN news:

                      SoBig Virus Is So Worrying for Computer Users
                      By Bernhard Warner

                      LONDON (Reuters) - A new computer virus feared to be 
the most potent ever
                      spread like wildfire Thursday, sending e-mail 
networks crashing and frazzling
                      technicians already overstretched by a plague of 
computer bugs.

                      The SoBig virus spreads when unsuspecting computer 
users open file
                      attachments in e-mails that contain such familiar 
headings as "Thank you," "Re:
                      Details" or "Re: approved."

                      Once the file is opened, SoBig, which first appeared 
Monday, scours the
                      computer for e-mail addresses, checking in Word 
documents, Internet logs and
                      e-mail inboxes.

                      Designed like mass-mailing spam programs, it then 
sends scores of messages
                      to the addresses it has collected.

                      MessageLabs, a British-based Internet security firm, 
said one in 17 e-mails sent
                      around the world since Monday had been affected by 

                      MessageLabs' chief information analyst Paul Wood said 
it was feared that it
                      could increase global e-mail traffic by as much as 60 
percent, slowing the
                      Internet to a crawl.

                      "It's unprecedented in our history. We stopped over 
one million (infections) in the
                      first day," he said.

                      "It's a pretty frightening statistic. And the next 
incarnation could be even worse."

                      Technicians have been scrambling for the past week to 
fend off the most
                      concentrated digital onslaught ever seen. 

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