Report: Eid Holiday Saves Bahrain from ‘Naked Wife’
The extended week-long Eid Al Adha holidays saved Bahrain from a catastrophic working week, said a leading IT expert on Thursday.
Ashraf Saad, the Arabian Network Information Services Development Manager, was quoted by Bahrain Tribune as saying the Eid holidays which coincided with the weekend had saved the island from what could have been a catastrophic weekend.
Saad who spoke to the Tribune following a global virus alert posted by antivirus developers McAfee on Tuesday, said Bahrain could have been seriously affected by the virus.
“The virus, W32/Naked@MM, is extremely dangerous as it can destroy the windows environment potentially crippling the complete machine,” said Saad. “Companies with Windows-based networks will have to be extremely careful as infected users will have to reinstall their operating system,” he said.
According to Saad, the virus uses Microsoft’s Outlook email application to distribute itself, infecting thousands of users. “More than 95 per cent of all businesses in Bahrain rely on Windows-based networks and the virus could have proved disastrous – especially for the banking sector,” he said.
“Fortunately, Bahrain’s business community was enjoying an extended holiday when the virus was detected and anti-virus companies such as McAfee have posted ample warnings informing the internet users of the virus,” said Saad. “The warnings will help protect unsuspecting users from a catastrophe,” he said.
Although some local businesses are said to have been infected, Saad insisted that such reports could be confirmed on Saturday at the start of the next regular working week.
According to Virus Alert notice posted by McAfee, the virus was discovered early on March 6 and has since infected a “large and growing number of computers”
“This is a HIGH RISK virus that is spreading rapidly via the Windows email program Outlook. The infected email can come from addresses that you recognise. Attached is a file named NakedWife.exe, which poses as a Flash movie. The email message can appear as follows:
Subject: Fw: Naked Wife
Body: My wife never look like that! ;-) Best regards, (sender’s name)
When run, it copies itself to a TEMP directory and displays a window entitled “Flash” which reads “JibJab loading”. It then attempts to delete all .BMP, .COM, .DLL, .EXE, .INI, and .LOG files in the WINDOWS and WINDOWSSYSTEM directories and it emails to all recipients in the Windows Address Book using Microsoft Outlook.
“You are protected from this virus if you have ActiveShield installed and updated,” said McAfee. “It is in the wild and the damage is significant,” said April Goostree, antivirus research manager for MacAfee.com in a interview posted on the CNN website. “It removes files off Windows and Windows system directories that render the computer inoperable.”
At least 18 major corporations in the US began reporting infections on Tuesday morning, Goostree said. Thousands of computers have been infected.
The “Naked Wife” comes on the heels of other dubious worms like the “Anna Kournikova” virus that promise enticing pictures.
According to the CNN site, Susan Orbuch, spokeswoman for Trend Micro, said that “this isn’t a particularly new or innovative virus. It uses social engineering, promising visual gifts that appeal to baser instincts.” The virus has a more damaging payload than the recent Anna Kournikova epidemic because it deletes hard drive files, Goostree said. The users are forced to reinstall their operating system.
But the “Naked Wife” virus should be less widespread than the “ILOVEYOU” virus, as more people are informed about not opening attachments, she added.
According to the CNN site, the virus masquerades as a Macromedia Flash movie, using the subject line “Fw: Naked Wife.” and spreads via Microsoft Outlook, sending out copies to every e-mail address in an infected user’s address book – Albawaba.com
Users choosing the Help/About menu from the “Flash” window receive an obscene message attributed to: “(C) 2001 by BGK (Bill Gates Killer).”
The logo used in the fake Flash file belongs to JibJab Media Inc., based in Brooklyn, New York. John Nugent, JibJab’s vice president of production, said the company is very irate about the logo being used as part of the virus. The site reports that the “Naked Wife” virus appears to have originated in the United States.
To prevent virus infections, antivirus experts recommend that the Internet users refrain from opening attachments from unknown sources and that corporate managers consider the Internet content filters to block questionable e-mail.