Feeds

Sneaky virus poses as email from sysadmin

Mimail: social engineering tricks part 14

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

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. ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
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.
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.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
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.