Bugbear bites more Kiwis

The list of those infected with the Bugbear virus grows ever longer with a Wellington yacht club and a National Party MP joining the fray.

The list of those infected with the Bugbear virus grows ever longer with a Wellington yacht club and a National Party MP joining the fray.

Epsom MP Richard Worth, who is National's spokesman for defence and courts, received the virus yesterday according to his electoral office's secretary.

"Yes, that was me. I must have opened one by mistake," she says.

The secretary says although the office does run Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus software, it didn't pick up Bugbear, although she didn't comment on whether the anti-virus signatures were updated or not.

"People have been ringing in saying they got emails from me. That's all but it's been fixed up now."

The virus took documents stored on the electoral office PC and emailed them to a number of people on the MP's mailing list as well.

The virus, which deletes files and causes printers to produce reams of unintelligible type, apparently hasn't made it into the parliamentary services system, despite a number of people in the past week receiving email with a return address of .parliament.govt.nz.

Spokesman John Preval says a number of external users list an MP's parliamentary email address as their return address. However, they aren't part of the parliamentary services system.

"An analysis of the headers will tell you it hasn't come from our physical site. Certainly we haven't distributed it, we have stopped it."

Preval says the service has halted "2229 copies of the virus in the days since it started".

In Wellington, the Evans Bay Yacht Club was forced to shut down its meagre network following a Bugbear attack, although there is some confusion as to whether it was infected or merely the recipient of many infected emails, according to the club's only full time employee, Fay Bishop.

"We had our technical man in here yesterday and he spent hours making sure our computer was all right, but we're still getting emails from members and other clubs saying we're infected."

Bishop says it is possible that a part time worker who uses her own machine may be infected and that is causing the confusion. The yacht club uses TelstraClear as its service provider.

One Coromandel property developer has sent out an apology to those on its mailing list after inadvertently forwarding sensitive documents stored on its hard drive. The company uses Xtra for its email host but apparently received the virus before Xtra's server-based antivirus solution kicked in.

The company, which did not want to be identified, found the virus had sent out confidential pricing for a number of properties to dozens of people in its address book.

Xtra spokesman Matt Bostwick says he cannot comment on this email in particular until Xtra technical staff have seen a copy of it, however Xtra has had no reported incidences of the virus getting passed its anti-virus solution.

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