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Last Updated: Monday, 16 May, 2005, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
E-mail worm throws up hate spam
Munich Olympic stadium
The original worm offered tickets to the World Cup
A nasty side-effect for machines infected by the recent computer worm Sober-P has been revealed.

The worm opened up a backdoor for a spam engine to bulk email hate messages from infected PC.

The inboxes of affected PCs have been filling with messages linked to right-wing German websites.

Sober-P grabbed attention at the beginning of the month, in Germany and around the world. The German version offered tickets to the 2006 World Cup.

Political spam

Now it has revealed a darker side and since Saturday has been downloading a spam engine - dubbed Sober-Q - which has bulk e-mailed links to right-wing German websites to all the PCs originally infected by Sober-P.

Politically motivated spam is a relatively recent development with the majority of junk e-mail aimed at emptying wallets with offers of porn, health cures and financial assistance.

The fact that the spam engine was kicked into effect by an earlier worm shows a "long-term desire" on the part of the author, and one that has been successful.

Security firm Clearswift said it was seeing as many as ten right-wing spam messages every minute.

"The original worm was obviously very successful and the volume of spam is huge," added Clearswift's threat lab manager, Pete Simpson.

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