SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters)-A new computer virus in e-mails claiming that Osama Bin Laden has been arrested has failed to lure many users to open dangerous attachments, despite its high-profile headline, security software makers said on Friday.
The virus began circulating in the past day and is one of several Bin Laden-type viruses that have been distributed on the Internet since May 2004. The current virus has a subject line claiming Bin Laden has been arrested.
The U.S. government has been hunting Bin Laden since 2001, and holds him responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. He has not yet been found.
To become infected, a user has to click onto an attachment inside the e-mail to activate malicious code which allows a computer hacker to later use the infected computer to send spam and other nuisances on the Web.
Oliver Friedrichs, a senior manager at the security response team at Symantec Corp., the world”s biggest maker of security software, said only 10 of several thousand customers had alerted the company on Friday about the virus.
Symantec rates the virus a Ŗ" on a scale of ř," which is the most threatening.
McAfee Inc., the second-biggest security software maker, said it had seen few infections caused by the e-mail virus.