Feeds

Fake SMS snoop utility turns spies into zombies

Bite back

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A new variant of the infamous Waledac botnet client doing the rounds poses as a utility that allows would-be snoops to view other other people's SMS messages online.

The fake utility uses various filenames including sms.exe, freetrial.exe, and smstrap.exe but actually contain a variant of the Waledac malware. Anti-virus vendors are in the process of responding to the threat posed by spam emails containing the malware, which began circulating on Wednesday, but detection remains incomplete by Thursday afternoon.

The irony of an application that turns would-be spymasters into zombie drones that might easily be spied on themselves is not lost on security researchers.

"They are playing on people's nosey or suspicious nature, however the application doesn’t give the user the ability to spy on other people's SMS messages," said Carl Leonard, threat research manager at Websense. "Instead it installs a number of executable files to incorporate the user’s machine into Waledac's botnet. The irony is quite fitting, the user intended to spy on others but ends up being compromised themselves."

Security watchers are paying close attention to Waledac after the latest variant of the infamous Conficker superworm began downloading variants of the malware onto compromised machines late last week. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.