TECH

'Peter Pan' Virus Attacks British Business With Pantomime And Paranoia

09/09/2014 11:15 BST | Updated 09/09/2014 11:59 BST

British businesses are under threat from an "undetectable" new virus capable of wreaking havoc on theoretically secure computers, it has been claimed.

The so-called "Peter Pan" virus supposedly originates from Eastern Europe - though its exact progeny is unclear.

The virus is pretty simple - it arrives via an email, and claims to be an invoice for £145 for nine tickets to a performance of Peter Pan at the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre.

Naturally, in the way of such things, the email is actually nothing of the sort. In fact it contains a virus, which is automatically installed on a user's Windows machine if the attachment is opened.

The virus itself is said to be almost impossible for a non-expert to detect. Except by application of the number-one high-tech defence against malware -- common sense.

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Experts warn that the virus is able to track everything from passwords to credit card information, and has been specifically designed to appeal to worried Brits at work.

The Telegraph, who appear to have been sent the phishing email, reported that the message is convincing in appearance, and could easily trick thousands of users before it is caught.

They add that experts suggest the emails originate from a user at the Belarus National Academy of Sciences - though that could be misleading if a proxy was used to send out the original attack.

The Bournemouth Pavilion said on its website that the reaction to the attack was immediate after it was sent.

"At approximately 7.30 this morning BH Live started to receive a high-volume of calls from members of the public in connection with an email purporting to come from BH Live Tickets. The email contains attachment(s) and hyperlinks relating to a booking for Peter Pan."

It warned customers that the emails were not genuine and it would take "measure" to protect its systems and networks.

"BH Live's Information Security teams together with information technology professionals and suppliers have investigated the matter and confirm that its internal systems have not been breached and that the emails were sent from known SPAM IP addresses. The emails are not genuine and do not originate from BH Live. A number of precautionary measures have been taken to ensure data, systems and networks continue to be protected.

The public is advised to delete these emails, to not open any attachments or links; ensure they are running the most up-to-date security products and that the operating system has been updated to the latest version. It is recommended that anyone receiving these emails update their passwords over the coming days.

BH Live continues to monitor the situation and is posting updates via websites and social media channels."