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New Bugbear virus tries to spy

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Robert Lemos Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Robert Lemos
covers viruses, worms and other security threats.
Robert Lemos
A new computer virus known as Bugbear is spreading slowly on Monday, according to e-mail service provider MessageLabs. The mass-mailing computer virus infects PCs using an old flaw in unpatched versions of Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express.

Once a PC is infected, the virus attempts to stop any security or antivirus programs and then searches the hard drive for e-mail addresses, sending itself out to those that it finds. Finally, it opens up a backdoor on the victim's PC to allow an attacker to take control of the computer. Symantec has rated the virus a 2 on a scale of 5, where 5 is the most severe rating. See CNET Software for information on identifying the Bugbear worm.