Paris Hilton and Sober-Y

Posted on November 28, 2005

The latest variation of the Sober email virus, Sober-Y, could become the most widespread virus of 2005. The tricky email virus pretends to be a email from the FBI or an email offering photos of Paris Hilton. Yes, people are still falling for these kinds of emails. A recent article said anti-virus firms are raising threat levels on Sober-Y.

Sober-Y, the latest variation of a computer virus that was first released almost two years ago, surprised analysts Tuesday by gaining traction and rocketing millions of e-mails around the world.

MessageLabs, a software company that filters e-mails, said it had stopped three million copies of Sober-infected e-mails in the first 24-hours after the virus began circulating. Paul Wood, a senior analyst at MessageLabs, said that as of 5 p.m. ET, the firm was trapping 200,000 copies of the worm each hour.

"It's surprisingly bad," said Mikko Hypponen, a virus researcher at "In sheer amount of e-mails, it's larger than any outbreak of the year." On Tuesday afternoon, F-Secure raised its threat level for the virus to its most severe rating. Other anti-virus firms also raised their threat levels during the afternoon.

F-Secure now says that Sober-Y is the largest email worm outbreak of 2005. F-Secure is also tracking another Bagle virus in their blog.

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