Be Wary of Psychologically Manipulative Viruses **** Be Wary of Psychologically Manipulative Viruses Following in the footsteps of the many viruses that have used psychological tricks to spread, are the Surnova worms, which not only use the tried-and-tested "celebrity endorsement" technique, but also attempt to appeal to game console fans, says Brett Myroff, CEO of Netxactics in Jahannesburg, SA. Many viruses have enjoyed success by pulling on the heartstrings of unsuspecting users and enticing them into spreading malicious code further. Examples include VBS/SST-A, which purported to be a graphic of the glamorous Russian tennis player Anna Kournikova and VBS/LoveLet-A (also known as the Love Bug), which pretended to be a love letter from a friend or colleague. However, the Surnova worms use a slightly different method. As well as relying on the lure of celebrity (on occasion they use filenames which claim to be erotic movies of pop sensations Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez), they also claim to be Xbox and GameCube emulators. Among the many filenames the Surnova worms can use to entice people into running them are XBOX emulator (WORKS!!).exe' and 'GameCube Emulator (WORKS!!).exe. Fans of popular console games like Halo and Pikmin may be tempted to try one of these programs in an attempt to convert their PC into a Microsoft Xbox or a Nintendo GameCube. However, some things really are too good to be true. Users should be suspicious of unknown executable files. The Surnova worms spread via instant messaging and the KaZaA file exchange network. As ever, keep your anti-virus software fully up to date and practising safe computing to prevent infection by this and other viruses. For more specific, technical details about Surnova visit the following address: http://www.viruslist.com/eng/viruslist.html?id=51080.