Feeds

BadTrans virus bites Windows users hard

Mass mailer outbreak

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Computer users turned on their PCs this morning to find their In-boxes flooded with copies of the latest mass mailing virus.

BadTrans.B is spreading rapidly after infecting a large number of home users in the UK over the weekend. BTOpenworld shut off an email system today, but not before infecting many customers with the virus.

MessageLabs, a managed services firm which scans for and blocks viruses in email for clients, has blocked 5,164 copies of the virus this morning. Its figures show btinternet.com, ntlworld.com and freeserve.co.uk as the most common sources of the virus.

BadTrans.B is a variant of a virus which first appeared in April. It usually arrives as an email with either the subject line Re: (name of file attachment) or Re: (the subject line of a previous message thread). The email contains a double attachment and a name made up of a series of elements which "alternate like a fruit machine", according to Mark Sumner, CTO of MessageLabs.

BadTrans.B uses a known exploit, related to the processing of certain unusual MIME types, in certain versions of Outlook Express 5 so as to launch an attachment automatically. The trick, which was also used by the authors of the Nimda worm, means simply previewing an infected email is enough to get infected. Users who double click on an infected attachment also risk infection.

BadTrans.B uses MAPI to spread and gets target addresses from unread messages in a user's email client. The worm also drops a file named kdll.dll, which is the password stealing Trojan PWS-AV , on an infected user's PC.

Users should update their antivirus protection to guard against the virus. In addition, corporate users should consider blocking emails with .pif or .scr attachments at the email gateway, a step that would block BadTrans.B before it reaches user's desktops. ®

External links

Good analysis of the virus outbreak by MessageLabs
Description of the BadTrans-B worm by Sophos
Incorrect MIME Header Can Cause IE to Execute E-mail Attachment (MS bulletin and links to a patch)

Related Stories

SirCam blitz is damp squib
Thousands of idiots still infected by SirCam
SirCam virus hogs connections with spam
Firms hit in Nimda mutant outbreak
Nimda worm tails off
Users haven't learned any lessons from the Love Bug
Rise in viruses within emails outpacing growth of email
There's a virus in my WinXP system, part two
BTopenworld sends Trojan to subscribers

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
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
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.