'Brad Pitt' virus targets Microsoft

Hackers release a worm, called Ahker-F, that promises salacious movie clips of celebrities.

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Britney Spears are the subjects of a virus scam that is attempting to recruit computers for a denial-of-service attack on Microsoft.

Hackers have released a self-spreading worm, called Ahker-F, that promises salacious movie clips of the celebrities. The e-mails contain text such as: "Watch Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt cought (sic) on TAPE! SEXY CLIP! WATCH IT!"

Attached to the e-mail is a .Zip file that contains the worm. If opened, the worm spreads to the user's e-mail contacts, disables security settings on the PC, and launches a denial-of-service attack against Microsoft's security update Web site.

"People's appetite for salacious gossip is insatiable, and some may be tempted to run what appear to be pornographic movie files distributed across the Internet," Sophos, a security software company, said in a statement. "However, virus writers have a long history of disguising their malicious code as this kind of content. Everyone should be very careful about what they choose to run on their computer."

The worm also spreads via file-sharing networks, using file names such as PORNO.exe, XXX.exe and Naked Britney.exe.

Sophos said Thursday that only a small number of reports of the worm had been received.