Feeds

Santa worm is coming to IM

Someone's been naughty. Very, very naughty

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

A new virus is taking advantage of the Christmas-time custom of sending cards and joke attachments to spread itself among users of instant messenger software.

The IM.GiftCom.All, or Santa Claus worm presents itself as a harmless image of Santa Claus and appears to be sent from someone known to the recipient. If victims click the file a worm is loaded on to their computer. The worm then sends the same message to everybody on that person's address list.

The virus is part of a growing pattern whereby instant messaging programme users are being targeted by the writers of malware. The Santa Claus virus is just the latest instant messaging virus to be making the rounds, targeting the chat programmes provided by AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo. The worm was identified by IMLogic, which develops enterprise instant messaging software.

"There isn't huge awareness surrounding the risks of instant messaging viruses," Eamonn Phelan, senior consultant at Topsec Technologies told ElectricNews.net. "People need to ensure that their firewall is on and that their anti-virus software up to date."

Such worms are less successful than ones sent via e-mail, since they can only be delivered successfully if the recipient is logged on when the virus is sent. This is in contrast to an e-mail virus, where the malware can be activated at a later point when the victim logs on. In both cases the virus is only activated if the recipient chose to click on the link Home users are more vulnerable than corporate users, because most companies prevent their employees from using instant messaging software. Network administrators block chat programmes to prevent employees from getting distracted from their work, as much as to block viruses.

Santa's name is also being invoked by spammers selling fake luxury watches. These unsolicited e-mail messages contain a detailed recipe, including ingredients and instructions, on how to make "Santa's Chocolate Sleigh Bell Cookies". The spammers also provide a link to their website, which then offers to sell the fake watches.

Copyright © 2005, ENN

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.