Feeds

VXers rain on YouTube's parade

Storm worm botnet herders switch tactics (again)

The essential guide to IT transformation

Authors behind the Storm worm have switched tactics yet again.

In the latest twist to the ongoing saga, emails punting the malware now contain fake links to YouTube. In reality the links direct potential victims to a malware loaded website designed to turn vulnerable boxes into spam-spewing zombie clients.

According to net content security firm Marshal, the latest Storm spam campaign uses humorous, familiar comments alongside fake YouTube links to lull recipients into believing they have been forwarded a link to a funny or outrageous video. Examples of the email text include 'dude don't send that stuff to my home email...', 'LMAO, your crazy man,' and 'OMG what are you thinking.'

"To most users the links will appear legitimate, as though they connect directly to the YouTube website...The spammers are using a simple email/HTML authoring trick to make the link appear to go to one place, but it actually goes to a completely different location," explained Bradley Anstis, director of product management at Marshal.

"The obfuscated Web link sends the user to a false website that appears to be part of YouTube, featuring YouTube logos and legitimate-looking text. The website attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in the visitor's browser to automatically download malicious files. If it fails to successfully exploit the browser, the site encourages the visitor to manually download a file called 'video.exe' which is the Trojan," he added.

Malicious email punting the malware scam accounted for between between 4 and 6 per cent of all email spam traffic sent since Monday, according to Marshall. The unidentified bot herders behind the campaign are experts at using social engineering to extend their army of botnet clients.

The malware strain first surfaced in January in emails attempting to trick users into visiting maliciously constructed websites under the guise of messages promising recipients information about the storms ravaging Europe at the time.

In the last two weeks the crackers have further refined their tactics, including attempts to trick users into visiting maliciously constructed websites via login confirmation spam.

"This YouTube spam attack comes less than a week after the confirmation spam campaign. This group is definitely escalating its activity," Anstis added. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.