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'Here You Have' Virus Goes Global

Susan Shimotsu |
September 10, 2010 | 12:41 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter


(Creative Commons)
(Creative Commons)
A global e-mail virus called “Here You Have," a reference to the subject line of the e-mail, attacked organizations including NASA, Comcast, AIG, Disney, Proctor & Gamble, Florida Department of Transportation and Wells Fargo by spamming the inboxes of employees and spreading through the contacts of affected accounts. 

Those who opened the e-mail Thursday reported that the body of the e-mail simply says, “Hello: This is The Document I told you about, you can find it here.”

The e-mail includes a link to what appears to be a pdf document, but clicking on that link releases a virus.

“In reality, it’s a piece of malware that’s obfuscating as a pdf,” said Dmitri Alperovitch, vice president of Threat Research for the security giant McAfee. “It has the capabilities to spread virally once it’s installed on your machine.” 

On Tuesday, Adobe acknowledged that there are vulnerabilities in the Adobe reader software, which may explain why the hackers chose to use a .pdf file.

McAfee is investigating the attack, and confirmed that the virus struck several corporations around the globe, though it would not comment on exactly how widespread the damage is. 

The Department of Homeland Security is also investigating and trying to contain the virus, which struck several federal agencies. 

Meanwhile, several employees tweeted Thursday afternoon as they watched their e-mail lists go wild. 

“Watching a virus break out through email on a NASA Distribution list… hilarious…” said one amused employee, who later went on to post “…this thing is quickly spreading like a wildfire.”

Reach reporter Susan Shimotsu here.
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