Feeds

Pirates Trojan keel-hauls surfers

Thar she blows

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Spam messages exploiting the publicity surrounding the release of the latest instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise are being used to trick users into installing Trojan horse malware.

The junk mails feature a message that resembles promotional material for the film alongside links that supposedly point users towards trailers for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Prospective marks are also offered the chance to win “free tickets”.

Users attempting to download this trailer are, in reality, only offered the Pirabbean-A ( Yar-A) Trojan.

The malware attempts to switch victims' dial-up connections onto a premium-rate number.

The Pirabbean-A Trojan uses a number of social engineering tricks in a bid to avoid detection.

When the Trojan is run, it shows an error message, claiming that the clip failed to load because a user's PC lacks the necessary codecs. Fans are pointed towards the film's official site. The tactic is an attempt to stop users from suspecting that something amiss may have happened to their machines, making it less likely that users will run an anti-virus check. To make doubly sure, the Trojan also attempts to disable anti-virus software.

The Trojan edits some Internet Explorer settings as well, adding two URLs to a user's Favorites. These maliciously constructed sites are designed to seed other forms of dialler software onto the PCs of prospective marks.

The attack is far from the first time that hackers have used interest in Hollywood's produce to punt their wares. Previous malware strains have posed as clips from Harry Potter movies or targeted fans of such favourites as Kill Bill and Star Wars.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End opened worldwide this weekend and is likely to do very well at the box office, despite the best efforts of critics such as the BBC Five Live's Mark Kermode. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.