Some antivirus software vendors are warning of a new virus posing as a program to collect votes about whether the United States should respond militarily to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Instead of collecting votes, the virus deletes computer files.
The Trojan, sent via a mass mailing from Microsoft Outlook, currently appears with the subject line "Peace between America and Islam" and carries an attachment named WTC.exe, said an advisory from Computer Associates. The body of the E-mail contains the message: "Hi. Is it a war against America or Islam? Let's vote to live in Peace."
Both antivirus vendors Computer Associates and Trend Micro Inc. are reporting the Trojan as a medium-risk virus, but it still carries a destructive payload. Infected users will have their systems' C drive formatted. The virus also deletes certain antivirus products, and drops the files WTC.exe and mixDaLaL.vbs. The virus also replaces HTM and HTML files with the message: AmeRiCa . . . Few Days WiLL Show you What We Can Do ! ! ! it's Our Turn >>> ZaCkEr is So Sorry For you. The Trojan requires that the Visual Basic Runtime Library MSVBVM50.DLL be available on the targeted computer system.
A spokesman for antivirus vendor McAfee Corp. says there haven't been many infections related to the new Trojan, and most antivirus products offer protection against it. Says the spokesman, "The only news here is that the virus writers are using interest in the recent attacks as a social-engineering tactic."