- A new "medium-risk" internet worm called Worm/MyLife.B that displays a cartoon image of former President Clinton is spreading quickly in the wild, according to Medina, Ohio-based antivirus firm Central Command.
The worm, which is a slight modification of a similar worm last month called Worm/MyLife, spreads through e-mail using addresses found in Microsoft Outlook address books.
The worm appears as a screen-saver attachment in an email with the subject header "my life ohhhhhhhhhhhhh."
When an unsuspecting user opens the attachment, the worm displays an image of Clinton and copies itself into the system so it will run each time the computer is started.
The worm is also apparently coded to delete several types of files, but in its testing, Central Command didn't see one instance where files were actually deleted, says Steven Sundermeier, a product manager with Central Command.
Most of those infected so far have been home users, and the risk to businesses seems small, Sundermeier says. That's because most corporations already filter out such attachments, and even if they don't, it's relatively easy to filter out this one by subject header or attachment type, he says.
Most antivirus tools are apparently already being updated with information about the new worm, he adds.
Sunnyvale, California-based antivirus firm McAfee.com has also classified the virus a medium risk. The file-deletion aspect of the virus means that it merits attention, however, a McAfee spokeswoman says.
Sam Costello of the IDG News Service contributed to this report.