Feeds

Sneaky virus poses as email from sysadmin

Mimail: social engineering tricks part 14

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

One of the sneakiest viruses to date began spreading rapidly across the Internet this weekend.

Mimail, which poses as an email from a potential victim's own sysadmin or ISP, suggests that a user's email account is about to expire.

Potential victims are urged to open an attachment message.zip, containing a copy of the virus.

Users who unzip the file find another innocent-looking HTML file inside, named 'message.html'.

This file contains an embedded EXE file, when opened in vulnerable versions of Internet Explorer, will drop an executable named foo.exe and run it. More information on the IE MHTML vulnerability used here can be found in an April 2003 advisory by Microsoft.

On infected machines, the virus searches for email addresses on a user's hard drive. Mimail uses its own SMTP server to spread sending copies of the malicious code to email addresses harvested from an infected PCs.

Mimail also has a backdoor component. The virus attempts to send data from a victim's machine to certain email addresses, coded into Mimail.

More detailed descriptions of Mimail can be found in advisories from F-Secure, Symantec and McAfee.

Vendors generally rate the virus as a medium level threat.

Windows users are advised to update their AV signature files and to apply patches from Microsoft if they haven't already done so.

Apple and GNU/Linux users need have no fear. As is so often the case, they're immune from the latest Windows nasty. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.