Feeds

Malicious code exploits unique Win2K function

Another MS 'feature virus'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Anti-virus outfit Kaspersky Labs has announced the discovery of W2K.Stream, a working example of a new type of virus designed for Microsoft Windows 2000. The virus uses a "Stream Companion" method to infect the NTFS file system, which allows multiple data streams. In this case one stream will be malicious, and the other will be the original program.

"NTFS enables users to create any number of data streams within a file: independent executable program modules, as well as various service streams (file access rights, encryption data, processing time etc.). This makes NTFS files very flexible, allowing for the creation of user-defined data streams aimed at completing specific tasks," the company explains.

W2K.Stream has not yet been seen in the wild, but it is the first known virus which creates multiple data streams to exploit the features built in to NTFS file system, the company says.

It attacks by creating a data stream into which it moves the original content of the host program, and then replacing the main data stream with malicious code. When the infected program is executed, the virus activates, replicates, and then passes control to the host program, which, if the virus is written well, should run normally, leaving the user none the wiser.

"This virus begins a new era in computer virus creation," Lab Anti-Virus Research Director Eugene Kaspersky said in a written statement. "The 'Stream Companion' technology the virus uses to plant itself into files makes its detection and disinfections extremely difficult."

If W2K.Stream were to go wild it would be easy to detect, Kaspersky allows; but "[similar] viruses can move to additional data streams. In [that] case, many anti-virus products will become obsolete, and their vendors will be forced to redesign their anti-virus engines."

What re-designed engines might mean in terms of 'upgrade' costs to the consumer, we can't say; but it sure sounds like rocking good news for the anti-virus industry in any case. ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Whoah! How many Google Play apps want to read your texts?
Google's app permissions far too lax – security firm survey
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
OpenWRT gets native IPv6 slurping in major refresh
Also faster init and a new packages system
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.