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"Donald Duck" virus on the loose

There's a new virus propagating in the Philippines, and though it's not as dangerous as the "Love" bug that plagued corporate computer systems earlier in the year, email users should exercise caution.

There is a new virus propagating in the Philippines, but this time it is not as dangerous as the "Love" bug that plagued corporate computer systems earlier in the year.

According to the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC), the bug is named "Donald Duck," after the Disney character, and arrives with the subject line "erap estrada"--the nickname of Philippine president Joseph Estrada.

Over the weekend, the NIPC Watch Office received word that a Trojan horse was reported in the wild in the Philippines, meaning it is attacking computer systems after it arrives in an email attachment.

Once the attachment is opened, the "DonaldD.trojan," is executed and--like the Love bug--can collect usernames and passwords from the victim.

"Currently, the Trojan horse is proliferating mainly in the Philippines and is considered a low threat to the United States by the antivirus industry," the NIPC wrote in its virus warning on the DonaldD.Trojan late Friday.

Updated commercial antivirus software will detect the DonaldD.trojan, the NIPC said.

"There have been no reports on this in the United States," said Dyan Dyer, chief executive of antivirus firm Command Software Systems. Nonetheless, Dyer said computer users should exercise caution when returning to work after the Labor Day weekend and read title lines and be suspicious of any Disney characters or references to the Philippine president.

The "I Love You" virus, unleashed in May, rapidly replicated itself via email, overloading corporate email systems in many countries and causing damage estimated in the billions of dollars by some experts.