NEW DELHI: The Kama Sutra is giving computer professionals across the world sleepless nights. But not in the way you think. A computer virus, scheduled to strike on February 3, Kama Sutra will corrupt documents with the most common file types, including doc, pdf and zip files.
And here’s the bad news: India will be the most affected.
The virus first emerged on January 16. It has already crashed 300,000 computers across the globe. However, its worst effect will be felt on February 3. It specially targets computers with the Norton anti-virus software. That puts India, Peru and Italy, where this software is used in abundance, in grave risk. The only way people can save their files is by updating their anti-virus software before February 3.
Also known as CME-24, MyWife or BlackWorm, the virus’ main purpose will be to destroy all Microsoft Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint documents and Adobe Acrobat and Photoshop files on all hard drives connected to an infected PC. Besides disabling anti-virus softwares, Kama Sutra will also raid address books to find e-mail addresses to send itself to.
Microsoft has issued an advisory, warning people about the worm, which affects most versions of its Windows operating system. The virus will spread by making people open attachments on e-mail messages that are infected with the destructive code.
The subject lines and body text of the various messages will vary. But all of them will falsely claim that pornographic videos and pictures are attached with it. What’s baffling experts most is that unlike other e-mail worms, Kama Sutra is detached from any profit motive, destruction being its only job. Victims will be able to tell they’ve been infected if they clicked on an e-mail attachment and their keyboard and mouse freeze up, forcing them to reboot.
Disinfection will require reinstalling an anti-virus programme updated to protect against this worm, then scanning to make sure it has been purged. Another expert said: "Because big corporations have tighter e-mail defences, small businesses will be hit hard. But big companies won’t be immune. The worm is designed to inject file-deletion instructions onto corporate servers. It does so via systems that share data with employees logging on to corporate systems from remote locations."