The latest virus to hit the online world isn't the smartest worm in the world but its "social engineering" tricks make it quite prolific.
MyParty arrives in email with the subject line "new photos from my party" and includes an executable file called "www.myphotos.yahoo.com" which some users mistake for a URL.
Christchurch-based anti-virus consultant Nick FitzGerald says the virus is relatively harmless in that those infected simply have their Outlook Express address book pilfered for more victims and some users will have a Trojan backdoor installed on their systems.
"This doesn't appear to affect Windows 95 or 98 or ME users but will work on the Windows NT family [including 2000 and XP]," says FitzGerald.
The virus is likely to have a relatively short lifespan, says FitzGerald, because it will only activate itself between January 25 and 29.
"We'll see it dribbling on for a bit what with dodgy clocks and slow mail servers as well as the whole time zone issue but basically that's it."
FitzGerald says suspicion is falling on Russia as being home to the virus writer this time round.
"The worm sends an email to an address at a Russian ISP that basically tracks how many machines have been infected and one of the criteria for the virus failing is if the host PC has the Russian keyboard set-up installed on their machine. There's a lot of discussion going on as to whether that means a Russian hacker is the source of the virus."