According to antivirus company F-Secure, reports are rolling in of Atak.H, which poses as a Christmas or New Year greeting.
"There are different levels of risk with these e-mail Christmas cards," Mikko Hypponen, director of antivirus research for F-Secure, said Thursday. "It's very similar to past ones we've seen. There's little risk in sending Christmas cards, but there is in opening them. We recommend people send old-school Christmas cards because there's no security risk in that."
The virus, which is similar to thecurrently causing havoc on the Internet, spreads to all the addresses in a victim's address book. But unlike the multilingual Zafi, Atak only sends itself in English.
According to F-Secure, the virus does not contain a Trojan horse--a tool that virus writers often use to take remote control of computers. Hypponen said this is strange.
The worm, which was discovered Wednesday, contains the subject line "Merry X-Mas!" or "Happy New Year!" The body of the text reads: "Happy New year and wish you good luck on next year."
Dan Ilett of ZDNet UK reported from London.