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SYS-CON.TV
Trojan Horse Targets Microsoft Users
Fake Website Drags Phishing and Spoofing to New Lows

"Mike" is a seasoned reporter who has covered IT for more than two decades. He's used to getting hundreds of spam messages a day, and more recently, a continuous streams of directives imploring him to "fix" some problems with his accounts at Citibank, Washington Mutual, PayPal, and eBay. (He actually has an account at only one of those.)

Now comes word of an effort to direct users to a fake website that looks like Microsoft's Windows Update page, according to Sophos, an "anti-virus, anti-spam" firm in Vancouver, Canada. The company described fake headlines such as "New Bagle Variant Combines Spam, Trojan Horses" in the malicious messages.

Mike, who wishes to remain anonymous, also received one of these messages when he checked his e-mail first thing Saturday morning in the U.S. "It looked like B.S. to me," he said, "but it was yet another annoyance that kept me from doing what I wanted to do. And it came to my business e-mail account, so I assume everyone else in the company got one. What if just one of them is fooled? Will this virus spread throughout our network?"

A check at Symantec's web site didn't show any news about this specific threat, but did show two other threats classified as "wild" that emerged this morning, one that simply opens a back door for potential future access and one that will shut down an infected computer. The site run by the Trojan Horse gang was originally registered in Canada, and has now been shut down. But past history has shown that virus-writers come from all over the world, including the Philippines, Bulgaria and other former Soviet Block countries. In other words, from anywhere.

With website registration still being a relatively easy, inexpensive process, with the ability to send millions of messages simultaneously still a relatively inexpensive exercise, and with hundreds of millions of Internet users in the world, many of them unwary to the ways of Internet criminals, Mike says he doesn't see the end of this sort of thing anytime soon.

"I guess it's like a house or a car," he says. "You have to do the dishes every day. You have to vacuum and take out the trash. You have to keep your car clean and change the oil. And you have to devote a lot of time to defending your computer from all the Internet jokesters and criminals. Frankly, I'd rather be doing something else, but I have no choice."

 

About Security News Desk
SYS-CON's Security News desk trawls the world of security for news of software, hardware, products, and services that seems likely to be of interest to infosec professionals and summarizes them for easy assimilation by busy IT managers and staff.

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