Feeds

KaZaA the Virus Desktop

Filter Schmilter

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

KaZaA the media desktop has been one of the most successful replacements for file sharing after U.S. courts ordered Napster to shut down. KaZaA offers its users a way of sharing music, video, documents, images, and software.

But six per cent of all music downloaded from KaZaA is not music at all, but a virus. Currently, there is no way to infect mp3s with a virus; however KaZaA's poor filtering allows someone to rename a virus to - say - cant_touch_this.mp3.vbs. When you do a search for the song named "Can't Touch This" KazaA will display this as "cant_touch_this.mp3", without displaying the .vbs extension.

This problem affects more than music: Hacker's Digest Labs has found the Love Letter Virus disguise as videos, images and executables.

What does KaZaA say about this? This is what the FAQ has to say:

"Q: Can I get viruses using KaZaA?

A: As always when you are downloading or receiving files from the Internet, you must exercise caution. Certain file types may contain viruses or so-called Trojan horses. You should protect yourself by using regularly updated anti-virus software, for example Norton Antivirus (www.norton.com) or McAfee(www.mcafee.com). Both Norton and McAfee offer free 30-day trial versions that you can download directly from their web sites. Not all file types can contain viruses or Trojans. Music, video, and picture files are generally safe - that includes files with the extensions .mp3, .vaw, .mpg, .avi, .mov, .bmp and .jpg. PDF documents (.pdf) and text files (.txt) are also in general safe. You should be cautious of executable files (.exe) and Microsoft Word and Excel documents (.doc and .xls). These files are specified with a icon in the search results on KaZaA.com."

This is true, however with the poor filtering in the KaZaA media desktop, it is extremely easy for anyone to be tricked into running a virus thinking it is his or her favorite song. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
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
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.