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France targeted by new email virus

Microsoft working on repair to stop attacks byDuQu virus linked to bug which affected Iranian nuclear programme

MICROSOFT engineers are working to rush out a permanent fix to stop attacks by a new virus called DuQu, which has been found on Windows computers in France.

It has already issued a temporary patch to halt the virus, thought to be a derivative of the Stuxnet virus said to have been used to disable work at an Iranian nuclear power station. It is said to be able to modify and delete data and even create new user accounts on infected machines.

It was spread through email attachments - via a font in a Word document - but antivirus company Symantec says it is a targeted virus, aimed at businesses and confidential documents.

Microsoft says the virus is spread by users clicking on a Word document attachment - and advises people not to click on attachments from sources they do not know and trust. It has issued details of the virus signature to antivirus companies, who will presently be issuing updated detection files.

So far six organisations or groups using a single internet service provider in eight countries have been hit by the infection which was launched in August.

Symantec said Organisation A has offices in France, Holland, Switzerland and the Ukraine; Organisation B is in India, C and D in Iran, E in Sudan and F in Vietnam. Possible infected machines are also being checked in the UK, Austria, Hungary and in Indonesia.

The virus is thought to have been spread through a server, since deactivated, in India.

Windows users should make sure that their antivirus software is up to date as the best means of avoiding any problems.

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