More problems on the horizon from the Sober mass-mailing worm, this time from the Sober.Q variant, which has seemingly generated thousands of e-mails in its first 24 hours of detection by security companies. Sober.Q appears to be downloaded by machines infected with Sober.P - indicating that the author(s) of Sober.P can perhaps somehow control infected machines via remote control. In this case, Sober.Q seems to be being utilised not to send spam, but to send hate mail and propaganda.

During the same week that Germany and Europe celebrated the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, the latest variant's sole purpose seemed to be to distribute hate mail.

"Spam has been traditionally regarded as annoying messages that promote Viagra, porn and low-cost mortgages. But for the past year, we have seen a trend in which worm authors are using spam not to hawk goods, but as a tool for political propaganda." - Scott Chasin, chief technology officer at e-mail security specialist MX Logic.