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Virus posted to official Google group
Published: 2006-11-09

Subscribers to the Google Video group mailing list got more than the latest news on the video features of the Internet giant's search engine.

On Tuesday night, Google accidentally sent out three posts on the official mailing list that contained copies of the Kapser.A worm, also known as the mass-mailing computer Kama Sutra. The video team pulled the posts from the archive on Wednesday, but not before 50,000 subscribers received the message, according to a PC World report. The company apologized for the mistake.

"An internal moderator of a list inadvertently allowed a couple of outside messages, which contained a virus, to be sent to the Google Video list," said company spokesman Gabriel Stricker. "We recognized the error almost immediately and took quick action to notify those on the list and suggest measures they may want to take to protect themselves. We regret the mistake and any inconvenience it caused."

Other Internet companies have also had to eradicate computer viruses from their pages. Last week, the online community-managed encyclopedia Wikipedia deleted an entry on its German site that attempted to spread malicious code.

The Kama Sutra worm spread earlier this year among Windows PCs. The worm, which caused confusion because it sported a half dozen names, was programmed to delete data on the third of each month.

However, the virus is detected by most, if not all, antivirus software, so likely little damage was done, said Alan Shimel, chief strategy officer at security firm StillSecure.

"Most email providers like AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo, Google G-mail, etc. routinely scan files for viruses before mailing them out," Shimel said. "You would think Google would do the same with its own group mail and that's what made it somewhat embarrassing."

Posted by: Robert Lemos
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