The latest variant of the Netsky worm can infect computers without any attachments being opened.
Most viruses try to trick users into double-clicking a file attached to an e-mail. Netsky.V exploits flaws in Microsoft software to gain access to home computers.
The e-mail carries subject lines such as "Please wait while loading failed message." When viewed, code hidden in the e-mail hunts the Internet for a PC that is already infected, so it can download a copy of its own destructive element.
Software patches that fix the problem have been available from Microsoft's Web site for some time, but many people are not aware of them or have not bothered to download them. Some dial-up users are put off doing so because such downloads can be large in size and take hours to retrieve.
To get around this problem, Microsoft has released a summary of its security patches on CD.
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