Sophos: Valentine's Day virus woes

Take care so you don't get your heart - and your computer - broken on Valentine's Day

Security company Sophos has reported a "widespread worm" disguised in a Valentine's Day message that is spreading fast online. As warned earlier this morning, Valentine's Day is one of the busiest days of the year for spammers and hackers.

The email worm, Dref-AB , was deliberately timed to hit email inboxes this morning, as workers and home users sat down in front of their computers.

The subjects of the malicious emails vary, but all carry a Valentine's Day message theme. Headers used include: 'A Valentine Love Song', 'Be My Valentine', 'Fly Away Valentine', 'For My Valentine', and 'Happy Valentine's Day'.

The malicious worm is attached to the emails in files called 'flash postcard.exe', 'greeting postcard.exe', 'greeting card.exe', or 'postcard.exe', Sophos said. Opening the attached documents activates the worm, which then sends itself to other email addresses found on the infected computer.

Since midnight, the Dref-AB worm has made up 76.4 per cent of all malware spotted on Sophos' international virus monitoring stations.

"This new Valentine attack is spreading fast across the net, accounting for over three quarters of all the malware we've seen at email gateways around the globe since 14 February began," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

"People will be truly love sick if they let the virus run on their PC," Cluley added.