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Shark 2 dumbs down Trojan creation

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Security for virtualized datacentres

Malign coders have created a new version of a tool that dumbs down the process of creating Trojan horse malware.

Shark 2 can be used to create Trojans capable of stealing confidential data, or backdoor programs that can be used to surreptitiously capture images from infected PCs, among other things.

The tool is being distributed via several underground internet forums. Software development is almost equivalent to that available from legitimate software vendors with regular updates to the code bringing the latest detected version up to version 2.3.2.

Virus creation toolkits have been available for years, but have mostly been restricted to the creation of mass mailing worms and their ilk. DIY phishing kits that dumb down the process of constructing fraudulent websites began about two years ago. Shark 2 makes the process of infecting targets for phishing attacks or performing other malign actions easier than ever. It means money making malware rackets are no longer the preserve of those with at least some programming skills.

The package offers malicious users the ability to create malware covering various functions with little or no programming skills, anti-virus firm Panda reports. An idiot-friendly interface means s'kiddies can choose the malware characteristics they want.

These characteristics include specifying a server to check for updates. Malware created using Shark 2 can be programmed to "phone home" with details of infected systems, information that can be posted online to a specified server displayed through a web interface.

Shark 2 allows numerous utilities to be run on the compromised PCs. For example, hackers could redirect victims to phishing sites or capture login credentials for anything from IM clients to online banks. Similarly, Trojans created using Shark 2 can capture screen shots, audio, and keystrokes. The package can also be used to download other malicious code onto infected computers.

The malware also allows would-be Dr Evils to specify what services are blocked on infected machines, and contains features designed to prevent detection.

Shark 2 allows malware to be UPX packaged and configured to end its own processes when it detects debuggers (packages commonly used to decipher malware) and VMware, making it more difficult to detect. ®

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