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Worm Uses Asian Female Popstar As Bait ! - 11/19/2004 6:09:58 PM   

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Computer virus experts at Sophos have warned computer users of an email worm which spreads using emails and filenames connected to Asian popstar, Stefanie Sun Yanzi.

The W32/Yanz-A worm spreads via email posing as the video or MP3 music file of one of Sun Yanzi's popular hits.

A typical viral email can use a number of different subject lines, email bodies and attachment names, including the following:

Subject: Free MP3
Text: My Favourite is Sun YanZi.
Attached file:

Sun Yanzi, who now prefers to be known by her English name of Stefanie, has released a series of successful albums in Asia with a mixture of Chinese and English-language songs, including covers of well known tunes such as "Hey Jude" by the Beatles and "Crazy all these years" by Tori Amos. In the last few weeks, Singapore-born Yanzi has released a brand new album and a music video of herself romantically mooning around Charles de Gaulle airport over a French male model.

"Stefanie Sun Yanzi isn't as well known in the West as she is in many Asian countries, which means the worm's choice of celebrity is limiting its potential to spread," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "But she does have a keen fan following, some of whom may not think twice about launching an email attachment claiming to be connected to their heroine."

Stefanie Sun Yanzi is the latest in a long line of celebrities to be used as bait by malware authors and hackers. The promise of glimpses of pin-ups like Halle Berry, Anna Kournikova, Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears or the stars of 'Sex and the City' have previously been used to help viruses spread. However, virus inspiration has come from several other less glamorous fields. Political leaders such as Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W Bush and PW Botha join cartoon characters including Pikachu and Kyle from South Park. Even Bill Gates has been used as the psychological trick to dupe users into opening infected files.

Although only a small number of instances of the worm have been sighted so far, Sophos recommends companies protect their computers with a consolidated solution to thwart the virus and spam threats as well as secure their desktop and servers with automatically updated anti-virus protection.

Source : Sophos

Stefanie Sun Yanzi has many fans in Asia.

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< Message edited by SiliconFreak -- 11/19/2004 6:10:21 PM >
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