A virus that originally masqueraded as a DVD copying programme is erasing MP3 files on millions of computers around the world. The recent outbreak of the W32 or Nopir-B was spread largely through shady sites devoted to exchanging music files. The virus erases all MP3 files on infected computers and files ending in “.com”.
Internet users should avoid downloading software from sites online with which they are not familiar. Exercising such caution can be one’s best protection against viruses transmitted online, said Mr Michael Dickopf, security expert at the Office of Information Technology Security (BSI) in Bonn.
Mr Dickopf indicated that the Nopir-B virus is designed to look like a DVD cracking programme that allows users to bypass copyright protections built into DVD discs that prohibit unauthorised copying.
The whole deletion of MP3 files and other data occurs when users attempt to run the programme.
The virus is now being spread by e-mail as well as from direct download. So far the virus has not been deemed to be highly dangerous, since it is not yet widespread, said Mr Dickopf.
He advised all computer users to update their anti-virus signatures to protect the MP3 files from the Nopir-B virus.