Feeds

C# virus pitched against .NET

Sharpei is low risk, but worrying

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A new virus uses Microsoft's C# language to target .EXE files under the Microsoft .NET Framework.

The Sharpei mass-mailer targets machines running .NET and consists of three components: a simple file dropper program, a mass mailer which uses Microsoft Outlook to spread, and a .NET component.

Although considered low risk, Sharpei is noteworthy because the replication code of the virus is written in C#. This makes closer to a platform-independent .NET virus than Donut, which caused a stir as the 'first' (purportedly) .NET virus in January.

Mikko Hyppönen, manager of anti-virus research at F-Secure, said Donut only contained a .NET wrapper around a traditional Windows virus, whereas Sharpei runs on .NET natively.

Sharpei affects only machines running Intel architectures but .NET viruses are a concern for the future because it could become an avenue to infect PDAs and smartphones, he added.

".NET compatible implementations on PDAs are still at least a year off but when they come in it might be possible to create mobile viruses by accident," Hyppönen warned.

Sharpei tries to pass itself off as a Windows security update, and the unlikely event you see it (the virus isn't spreading widely) it might drop into your In-box with the subject: "Important: Windows update" and an infected attachment, MS02-010.exe.

Microsoft never sends out security updates by email, but the gullible recipients who fall for this trick will activate Sharpei. The virus is explained in more detail here.

Antivirus vendors are updating their tools to detect Sharpei (which, unusually, was written by a female virus writer called Gigabyte), and protection is now largely in place. ®

Related Stories

.NET virus is .NOT - Microsoft
Donut virus highlights holes in .NET
.NET may lead to fewer viruses
Hybrid viruses set to become bigger threat
Rise in viruses within emails outpacing growth of email

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, watchdog claims
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.