Feeds

Polyglot virus is Xmas party pooper

Zafi-D turns PCs into zombies

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

An email worm which poses as a Christmas greeting began spreading widely yesterday. Zafi-D comes as an infectious attachment to emails written in a variety of different languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, Swedish and Hungarian. Anti-virus firms believe the worm was created in Hungary.

Typically infected emails have subject lines such as 'FW: Merry Christmas', 'Happy HollyDays!' and 'Feliz Navidad!'. Embedded inside each email is a crude animated GIF graphic of two 'smiley' faces. The attachment name is made up of the word "postcard" in the respective language, random numbers and the extension .pif, .cmd, .bat, or .com. Windows users who open the attached file get infected.

Zafi-D harvests email addresses from compromised machines and uses its own SMTP engine to spread. It also attempts to spread through P2P networks. It attempts to terminate firewall and anti-virus apps on infected machines. Several Windows tools, like Task Manager and Registry Editor, are disabled when the worm is active. Even worse, Zafi-D has also a back door that listens on port 8181. Crackers can upload and execute files using this backdoor, which turns infected machines into zombies.

Anti-virus firm MessageLabs has blocked over 25,000 copies of Zafi-D. The multilingual nature of Zafi-D (the original Zafi used only Hungarian text) helps to explain its relative success in spreading. Most anti-virus firms rate Zafi-D as a medium to high risk threat.

Standard defensive precautions apply: avoid opening unsolicited attachments, even when they appear to come from people you trust; update AV tools to detect the worm. If you think your PCs might be infected by Zafi or another virus then our guide to cleaning up PCs may come in handy. ®

Related stories

Zafi-b speaks in many tongues
Virus 'talks' to victims
Slack users blamed for virus longevity
The strange death of the mass mailing virus

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Boffins build FREE SUPERCOMPUTER from free cloud server trials
Who cares about T&Cs when there's LIteCoin to mint?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.