Xtra takes the bounce out of latest viruses

Telecom Xtra has switched off its automated email bounce service in light of the new virus sweeping the world.

Telecom Xtra has switched off its automated email bounce service in light of the new virus sweeping the world.

The Netsky.D virus is the latest worm to attack Windows-based PCs and has been upgraded to a serious threat by most of the major anti-virus vendors. While it's destructive payload is relatively minor, the virus is highly prolific, leading Xtra to make the decision to switch off the automated service, according to spokesperson Anna Martin.

"It's still early days so we don't have infection rates yet but we are blocking it at the server," says Martin.

With the ISPs blocking email viruses at the server most end users are finding the automated messages telling them their email has been blocked to be more annoying than the viruses themselves. Martin says since most viruses spoof the sender's address these messages were unnecessary.

"So we've decided to switch that service off".

The sheer volume of traffic being generated by Netsky.D means Xtra is reporting some delays in the delivery of its email, according to Xtra's home page.

"To ensure that all mail is delivered, Xtra's mail servers may send the same email more than once. As a result some customers might also receive several copies of the same email."

Also in the wild generating traffic across networks is the latest version of the Beagle worm. Beagle.E is another email worm that can create a backdoor into an infected system and tries to block any anti-virus applications loaded on the PC.

TelstraClear spokesman Mathew Bolland says TelstraClear typically does not send out automated responses.

"We look at the email and if it's a mass mail kind of thing we'll simply delete it. If there's a virus embedded in a real email we'll strip out the virus and send on the email content to the recipient, telling them what we've done. We don't send anything back to the sender, however."

ISPs, ICONZ and Ihug did not get back to Computerworld Online by deadline.

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