Feeds

Virus prevents you asking for help

Clever design

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

A virus which blocks victims from reaching antivirus web sites or even emailing for help is spreading around the internet after laying dormant for weeks.

MTX was first identified in August and was thought to pose relatively little risk, but its clever design is now leading to widespread problems.

November statistics from antivirus vendor Sophos will show the virus produced the most calls to its help desk during November, although these figures are skewed by the fact victims had no other means of asking for help.

The virus, which is also known as Apology-B, arrives as an email attachment with a variety of different names designed to entice careful users into opening it including NEW_NAPSTER_site.TXT.pif and the cunningly titled IS_LINUX_GOOD_ENOUGH!.TXT.pif. Opening the attachment triggers an infection.

The virus replaces wsock32.dll with a modified version which monitors network traffic. When the virus detects the user sending an email, it will send another to the same recipient. The message will have no subject or body text, only an attachment.

The virus also has the ability to open up a backdoor on a victim's machine. It places a file, called MTX_.exe, on a victim's hard disc drive which, once executed, tries to connect to a website and download further programs to run.

However the bug's most sinister feature is that a user will be prevented from accessing antivirus website from an infected machine or sending emails to specified security firms.

The bug has one very sinister feature: once it infects a user, it's programmed to stop the victim from visiting antivirus Web sites and sending "mayday" emails to antivirus companies.

Users can be infected by MTX only if they haven't updated their antivirus software for the last two months.

The growing prominence of MTX, and other viruses which have lain dormant for weeks before raising their ugly head, shows that people aren't applying this simply procedure. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
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
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
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.