Feeds

Why did support @ microsoft send me a virus this morning?

A: Meet Palyh, the latest prolific Windows worm

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Website security in corporate America

Windows users everywhere are urged to update their anti-virus definitions following the discovery of a new worm, which poses as one of a series of odd messages from Microsoft.

Palyh (AKA Mankx), got a strong start of the weekend and is spreading rapidly, at least if our own in-boxes are anything to go by.

The pest is an email and network attack worm that includes a downloaded Trojan horse component, according to a preliminary analysis of the virus by security outfit iDefense. After a computer is infected with the worm it attempts to create copies of itself in remotely shared startup locations on a network.

The virus also attempts to update itself by linking to a Web site. Hopefully this avenue of mischief will soon be closed.

The virus normally arrives via email with one of the following subject names: Re: My application, Re: Movie, Cool screensaver, Screensavers, Re: My details, Your password, Re: Approved (Red. 3394-65467), Approved (Ref. 38446-263), Your details.

Within this emails is an infectious attachment of filetype .pif, .pi or .uue. Again selection of these filetypes is random. Double click of the attachment and you get infected, natch. Palyh scans files (with .dbx, .eml, .htm, .html, .txt, and .wab) for fresh prospects for infection.

This behaviour means the virus is likely to be prolific. As usual Mac and Linux users are immune from infection.

The virus always appears to come from support@microsoft.com.This email address is, of course, spoofed (a common enough trick among VXers).

Standard precautions apply to defending against the bug: update AV signature files and (if you're an admin) consider introducing controls to block executables at the gateway.

You know it makes sense. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Blood-crazed Microsoft axes Trustworthy Computing Group
Security be not a dirty word, me Satya. But crevice, bigod...
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.