Dubbed Avril, Lirva, and Naith by antivirus companies, a new worm is spreading via e-mail, ICQ, mIRC, and Kazaa. E-Mail provider MessageLabs has blocked 9,000 infected messages today, up from less than 1,000 the previous day.

The worm uses numerous techniques to spread itself, including using subject lines that refer to 17-year-old skater girl Avril Lavigne, even opening a browser window to the singer's official homepage before spreading via a user's contact lists.

Avril now joins a prestigious list of celebrities including Anna Kournikova, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and Britney Spears who have been paid homage by computer worms and viruses in recent years.