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magistr virus *************************************

Sep 05, 2001 07:57 PM
by ramadoss

It's back! New Magistr virus at large

By Dennis Fisher
September 4, 2001 2:58 PM PT

Virus researchers have discovered a new variant of the destructive Magistr virus that destroys local and network files and can also overwrite data stored on the CMOS and BIOS chips.

Known as Magistr.B, the new virus arrives in an e-mail and can carry multiple message attachments. The virus itself is contained in a file called readme.exe, and the user must open the file for the virus to execute.

The virus is reported to be spreading quickly in Europe, but has not been seen in the United States yet, anti-virus vendors say. The virus is a variant of the original Magistr.A virus, which has been around since early 2000 and is still one of the most common viruses on the Internet.

In addition to destroying files, Magistr.B also overwrites and NETLDR, the operating-system loaders for Windows, and destroys any file with a .ntz extension, which are files used by AV software, according to an alert released by security vendor Vigilinx Inc.

The new virus also disables any active copies of Zone Labs Inc.'s ZoneAlarm personal firewall that it finds.

The virus spreads via e-mail and generates random subject lines of up to 60 characters. Unlike many other mass-mailing viruses, Magistr.B can pull addresses from the files of several e-mail clients, including Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Netscape Messenger and some Web-based mail clients.

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