The Spam Diaries

News and musings about the fight against spam.
 by Edward Falk

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A new round of the Bagel virus on the way?

Correspondents inform me that a mysterious email spam that's been making the rounds may be a harbinger of the Bagel virus (see also InfoWorld). The emails have been widely received, but contain no payload. Instead, they simply have a number in the subject, a number in the message body, and headers that indicate that they come from Turkey or France. They'll also have your own email address in the From: line (possibly to evade spam filters or to exploit sendmail relaying functions). Check your trash; you may have received one yourself. (Update: I received one just after writing this that came from UUnet; why am I not surprised?)

Often, a spam with no payload indicates either a test run of new software, a deliverability test, a botched spam run, or a botched virus.

In this particular case, certain signatures in the message indicate that the Bagel author is involved. This mail may have been a test run of some sort, or a botched seeding.

In either case, we can expect another run any day now containing the actual virus. Users are urged to be extra careful about not opening email attachments. Or to switch to Mac or Linux*.

Update: The Internet Storm center has some coverage of the spam. They haven't come to a conclusion yet.


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