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JPEG virus is imminent

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A Trojan horse that exploits a recent critical flaw in Microsoft Windows' handling of JPEG images has been posted to several newsgroups, CNET reports.

Though the code only threatens visitors to the newsgroups where the malicious programs--hidden in images--are posted, antivirus experts continue to warn that it's a short step from such code to an effective computer virus.

"We are getting closer and closer to an exploit that could be turned into a worm," said Oliver Friedrichs, senior manager with security-software maker Symantec's incident response group.

The latest code, found Tuesday, requires the victim to download the false image and view it in Windows Explorer in order for his or her system to be infected.