The Internet is full of viruses and worms, and now it has a new one. Straight from Malaysia, the Bugbear virus has hit the University of Calgary.
"The number of virus detections roughly doubled when Bugbear first appeared," said U of C Information Technologies Antivirus Consultant Jim Powlesland. "Bugbear is definitely our number two virus, but Klez still remains king."
Mail logs from the past week show the virus was spread anywhere from 280 to nearly 500 times a day, but
still remains secondary to Klez, which was found 650 times daily. The virus broke at the university around Oct. 1, as nearly 800 copies of the virus were sent on Sept. 30, and over 1,980 found the next day.
Recently upgraded by McAfee to High Alert--only one step down from their highest alert--the WW32/Bugbear@MM virus mass mails itself to e-mail addresses
found on the host system, stops firewall and antivirus programs and spawns print jobs on network printers that go up to 500
"The virus can also install a backdoor trojan which enables your PC to be monitored and controlled remotely, compromising your confidential information such as your password and credit cards," explained Powlesland. "Bugbear is in the same league as Klez and Nimda, perhaps worse. My guess is that this virus will be around for a while."
One similarity to the Klez virus is that both have the ability to forge the "From:" field in e-mails. Bugbear can also fabricate e-mail addresses, pairing names with different domains.
Bugbear only affects systems running Windows; Mac OS and Linux environments are safe.
As such viruses are now so common, IT's response has become routine: files to prevent or fix the virus's damage are posted on the IT website, computer support staff are notified, and related software is updated.
"So far, I have heard of no problems with Bugbear on campus," Powlesland explained.
In order to avoid contamination from Bugbear or other viruses, computer users should install anti-virus programs and keep them updated. Instructions for using VirusScan and AutoUpdate are posted on IT's antivirus web page, www.ucalgary.ca/it/virus/.