INDEPENDENT NEWS

Xtra Catches Thousands Of Bugbear-Infected Emails

Published: Thu 3 Oct 2002 01:58 PM
Xtra Catches Thousands Of Bugbear-Infected Emails
Xtra is catching thousands of emails infected with the new Bugbear virus, which has quickly become the most prevalent email-borne virus worming its way through computer networks worldwide.
Xtra spokesperson Matt Bostwick says Bugbear, which was first reported on 30 September 2002, had doubled the number of virus-infected emails caught and cleaned by the Internet service provider’s anti-virus email filter.
"Over the past few weeks we've been trashing a total of between 30,000 and 40,000 email viruses of all kinds a day. But just one day after the Bugbear virus first appeared, we caught around 24,000 emails infected with the new virus alone.
"By yesterday the number of Bugbear-infected emails we caught and cleaned was up to 40,000, and that's not counting all the other variants of email viruses that our filter is trashing" he says.
Xtra installed its state-of-the-art anti-virus email filter in July this year, at a cost of around $1 million. The anti-virus email filter stops most known email viruses at the gate before they can get into customers' inboxes.
All Xtra customers who use an Xtra mailbox to send or receive email messages are covered by the server-based anti-virus filter at no additional cost.
The Bugbear virus is reported to have originated in Malaysia, and attempts to shut down anti-virus and firewall protection being run on its victims' computer. It spreads by email using its own email engine.
It includes a 'Trojan horse' programme that attempts to capture information such as passwords and credit card details from a victim's computer, and send them back to the original virus writer.
The virus also contains a bug that means it attempts to copy itself to printers on a victim's network, resulting in some victims reporting printers churning out pages of unreadable code.
Xtra's Web site contains more information on the Bugbear virus and links to relevant sites at http://xtra.co.nz/security

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