Feeds

Trojan turns victims into DDoS, spam zombies

Meet the Webber worm

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Anti-virus vendors are warning of the mass mailing of a new Trojan program "Webber" (aka "Heloc" and "Berbew") which is capable of turning infected PCs into pr0n or spam propagating zombies.

Webber is the latest in a series of malicious programs that turn innocent computers into spam machines. It installs a proxy server at the command of malicious attackers. In the last week, Russian AV firm Kaspersky Labs already detected three Trojan programs similar in type to Webber, the most notorious of which was the Magmaf.

"In essence, we have a situation involving the creation of an illegal, extended network that can be exploited by hackers to mass mail spam using the resources of victim computers," commented Eugene Kaspersky, Head of Anti-Virus Research at Kaspersky Labs. "What is most troublesome is that this network can also be abused to achieve virtually any goal, including conducting hacker attacks on a global scale and DDoS attacks on the Web resources of large corporations or government institutions."

Webber was spread over the Internet via a mass mailing conducted on July 16, according to Kaspersky. The message containing "Webber" has the following subject line: "Re: Your credit application", a text body in plain English, and a file attachment named "web.da.us.citi.heloc.pif".

Kaspersky Labs notes this file name is similar to a Web address and therefore can at times confuse users and lead them to execute the infected file.

Once run, Webber clandestinely downloads its additional components from a remote Web-server and installs them on the now infected computer. Collateral damage attributed to this Trojan includes the sending of a list of passwords dug out of a victim machines in the form of URL requests to the Web site of the Trojan's presumed creator.

A more detailed description of Webber can be found in the Kaspersky Virus Encyclopaedia here or on Symantec's Web site here.

Shy away from Coconut worm

In other virus incidents this week, infamous female VXer Gigabyte has created a virus that pokes fun of AV expert Graham Cluley of Sophos. The Coconut worm, which has not been released into the wild, invites victims to play the game - which involves throwing coconuts at the heads of notorious Belgian hacker, Frans Devaere, and Cluley - to score points. The more points the user scores, the fewer files the worm tries to infect.

It's the second virus Gigabyte has created that features Cluley. Gibabyte, best known for her work in creating the first C# virus, also created the Cluley-featuring Parrot worm in 2001. She created the worm after taking offence at the high profile security commentator's remarks that most virus writers are spotty teenage nerds who are incapable of getting a girlfriend. Gibabyte has earned a reputation as been more skilled and ethical than most members of the VX community.

Cluley thinks he's been targeted for ridicule along with Devaere because the pair's mutual high profile in Gigabyte's country of residence, Belgium. Sophos' write-up of the Coconut worm can be found here.

And yet more spoofing tricks...

In other attacks on AV companies this week, a new mass-mailing worm called Lohack-B was discovered which attempts to trick users into thinking that the message has been sent from trustworthy sources, for example the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology or AV firm Panda Software. A write on the worm by Panda Software can be found here.

All three piece of malware only affect Windows users, as usual. Users are advised to protect themselves by updating their AV signature files. Blocking executable files at enterprise gateways wouldn't hurt either. ®

Related Stories

Trojan serves porn off home PCs, not many dead
Why spammers lurve the 'Microsoft support' worm
Rise of the Spam Zombies
Virus writers 'obsessed with sex and computer games'
Sex starved virus writers go for revenge
C# virus pitched against .NET

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
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
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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 hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.