Feeds

Meet the Peeping Tom worm

Spy on the wire

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

A worm capable of using webcams to spy on users is circulating across the Net.

Rbot-GR, the latest variant in the prolific worm series, spreads via network shares, exploiting a number of Microsoft security vulnerabilities to drop a backdoor Trojan horse program on vulnerable machines as it spreads. Once a backdoor program is installed on a victim's PC it's always game over - an attacker can do whatever takes their fancy. But Rbot-GR comes pre-loaded with functionality specifically designed to control webcam and microphones. Other variants of the worm do not come with this "Peeping Tom" routine, according to AV firm Sophos.

"If your computer is infected and you have a webcam plugged in, then everything you do in front of the computer can be seen, and everything you say can be recorded," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "It would be like having a regular Web cam conversation except you wouldn't know you're taking part in it."

Aside from its voyeuristic behaviour, the Trojan component of the worm attempts to steal registration information for games and PayPal passwords from infected machines. It's a thoroughly nasty piece of code; so it comes as some relief that Rbot-GR isn't particularly widespread. Sophos has received only a handful of reports about the worm. Most vendors rate it as a medium-risk threat. As usual, Rbot-GR is a Windows-only menace. ®

Related stories

Webcam snares toff 'tea leaf'
Backdoor program gets backdoored
Phatbot arrest throws open trade in zombie PCs
Rise of the Spam Zombies

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.