Feeds

Sneaky virus poses as email from sysadmin

Mimail: social engineering tricks part 14

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
US government fines Intel's Wind River over crypto exports
New emphasis on encryption as a weapon?
To Russia With Love: Snowden's pole-dancer girlfriend is living with him in Moscow
While the NSA is tapping your PC, he's tapping ... nevermind
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
Slap for SnapChat web app in SNAP mishap: '200,000' snaps sapped
This is what happens if you hand your username and password to a 3rd-party
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.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.