RealTime IT News

Soccer World Cup Virus Detected

A new virus that masks as an e-mail promising World Cup soccer results is dribbling its way across the Internet, anti-virus software firm Sophos warned Friday.

The U.K.-based Sophos said the VBS/Chick-F virus spreads via email and Internet relay chat posing as a web utility to see up-to-the-minute results from the wildly popular international tournament.

"If the recipient runs the attached file and follows its instructions to enable ActiveX the worm will attempt to spread via Internet Relay Chat and forward itself to everyone in the user's address book," the company said in an advisory.

Sophos said the virus arrives in e-mails with "RE: Korea Japan Results" in the subject line and warned users to keep anti-virus protection up-to-date and to be suspicious of all unsolicited e-mail attachments.

"Sophos has received no reports of the virus in the wild to date, but notes that it comes just days after it warned companies of the dangers of lax security during the World Cup competition," the company said.

"Whoever wrote this virus is aiming to exploit football fans around the world, hungry for news about their team's progress," said Graham Cluley, a tech consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus.

It is not the first time a potentially destructive virus has appeared to piggyback on the popularity of the World Cup. Back in 1998, when the competition was held in France, Sophos said another football-inspired virus attempted to trick users into gambling on who the winner might be. "If the user did not choose the right team triggered a warhead which was capable of wiping all the data off the hard drive," Sophos said.