Feeds

Nasty email gives ANTS a case of worms

Achtung!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

An email purporting to offer a patch to a Trojan horse scanner, popular in Germany, is actually an Internet worm.

The Anset worm, which is doing the rounds on the Internet (and comes in three variants), spreads as an email attachment named ants3set.exe. THis poses as ANTS Version 3.0, but is actually a mass mailing virus that effects Windows machines. If you run the attachment, you get infected.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos Anti-Virus, said the trick of disguising malicious code as security software was "as old as the hills". A virus writer called Dark Avenger wrote a virus which claimed to be McAfee VirusScan in the early 1990s, he added.

The concern over the Anset worm, which in its current variants arrives contained in an email with the subject line "ANTS Version 3.0" and German body text, is that it will generate waves of infectious email rather than its destructive potential. Cunningly the email gives the name of the genuine ANTS home page, giving it a false veneer of authenticity.

Anset opens an Outlook address book and examines files with the extensions (.CGI, .HTM, .SHTM, .PHP and .PL) to find email addresses to which it can spread from infected machines.

Users are advised to go to the web site of security vendors to download security patches and updates and to be suspicious of updates sent by email, which is bad security practice.

Antivirus vendors are in the process of updating their software to detect the Anset worm and protection is now largely in place. ®

External Links

Write up of the Anset worm by Sophos

Related Stories

Lame attempt to disguise viruses as MS security update
Virus writers are industrial terrorists - MS
'Nimda fix' Trojan disguised as security bulletin
Scumbag virus writers try to whip up 'Anthrax outbreak'
Thousands of idiots still infected by SirCam
Users haven't learned any lessons from the Love Bug
Rise in viruses within emails outpacing growth of email

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.