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#25 [20.01.2004]

Protect your computer from the new virus "Beagle"

By Nowshade Kabir ©

Protect your computer from the new virus "Beagle"If you received an email from somebody you know with the subject “hi” and the word test in the message body recently, welcome to the never ending world of computer viruses. You have just encountered the first virus unleashed in this year. The virus is named as “Beagle” or “Bagle” and spreading rapidly all over the world. Users in the United Stated will see the real outbreak on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 as on Monday US was closed in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

The attached to the email .exe file with a random name, which uses the same icon as the Windows calculator, is the culprit! Once executed it runs an email harvesting program, which searches for emails in every single file on your computer and the computers connected to yours via internal network. The codes of the worm also contain invisible email proxy server program, which allows your computer to be put into action as a spam relay center. When opened the attached exe file, it runs the Windows calculator in an attempt to confuse the user.

The body of the virus email looks as follows:

Test =)
(string of random characters)
Test, yep.

It appears the worm is also programmed to send details about all infected computers to website addresses in Germany. Although till now these sites are not yet set up on the Internet.

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The harvested emails will most certainly be used for spamming and selling to other spammers. This suggests that the Beagle virus is a creation of email spammers. Similar to Sobig virus, this one too embedded with an expiry date. The virus is set to deactivate on 28 January. Many experts believe this means a more virulent version may come out after this date.

Network Associates has raised its alert rating for the program from "low" to "medium" because an increasing number of personal computers are becoming infected. After severe virus attacks of last year most of the companies have updated and protected themselves from this type of viruses. However, home users are at risk, as many still did not install any kind of antivirus software or do not update them regularly.

Computer virus attacks cost global businesses an estimated US$55 billion in damages in 2003. Companies lost roughly US$20 billion to US$30 billion in 2002 from the virus attacks, up from about US$13 billion in 2001, according to various industry estimates.

It looks like financial harm caused by various virus attacks will increase significantly in 2004.

Here are some tips to protect your computer from Beagle and other viruses:

Be vigilant
Don’t ever open an email that looks suspicious! The success of viruses that spread through emails totally depends on the ignorance and curiosity of unsuspected users.

Update Windows
Download the latest security patches for the version of Windows you use and install them.

Install Antivirus Software
If you still don’t have an Antivirus Software, install one! It’s worth the money spent!

Update your Antivirus Software
Antivirus Software companies constantly add new modules to their software in order to enhance abilities. You must update your software to ensure that you have the latest version capable of fighting the new virus unleashed.

If you feel that your computer is already infected, find the file bbeagle.exe on your computer. The file disguises itself with Microsoft calculator icon. Delete the file immediately!



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About the author
Nowshade Kabir is the founder, primary developer and present CEO of A Ph. D. in Information Technology, he has wide experience in Business Consulting, International Trade and Web Marketing. Rusbiz is a Global B2B Emarketplace with solutions to start and run online business. Click here to contact him.