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Panda-Like Virus Plagues China’s Internet

A new Internet bug is making rounds on the Web to catch victims. This bug is similar to the 'Panda worm' that disrupted China's Internet for many months, according to an anti-virus software firm's report on March 13, 2007. Experts with New Tech Ltd. based in China described the new virus called "Shadow of Panda" as twin brother to the "Panda burning joss sticks" virus, one of the most threatening worms to have plagued China.

The new worm behaving like the previous one contaminates program files and steals passwords and account names of well-known chat sites and online game players.

The offensive Panda worm took to infecting PCs in December 2006 through those parts of the Internet that used Chinese language. When executable file icons turned into pictures of a panda holding joss sticks, the users knew that the infection hit their PCs.

The Chinese anti-virus developer, Rising Corp listed the virus as the worst Internet bug in 2006. The Shanghai Information Technology Service Center gave it the first five severity rating because it could attack networks in government bureaus and organizations causing damage to their programs and databases.

The developer of "Panda burning joss sticks" was 25-year old Li Jun in Wuhan. His worm infected millions of PCs across the country. Li confessed that he sold the virus to 12 people for 100,000 Yuan (US $12,887). Subsequently, Li wrote anti-virus software to eradicate his own Panda, which the police released in February 2007.

The anonymous developer of the recent "Shadow of Panda" has said in his code that he despises the anti-virus companies. While the Panda is gone and so is Li, he would take forward Li's unfinished task. With this he would devote to the safety awareness of the Chinese citizens.

The Jiangmin Company said that anti-virus solutions were available to deal with the new virus and so netizens could download the software as early as possible.

In 2005 viruses infected 80% of computers. There were reports of 728,000 new viruses. Hackers attacked 9,100 websites of which 2,027 were government Web sites. In January 2006, they attacked 391 government sites.

Related article: Panda’s Online Scanner Contains Bugs and Hole

» SPAMfighter News - 3/27/2007

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