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Home » Hacking News » Warning of malicious e-cards

Warning of malicious e-cards

by Nikola Strahija on December 21st, 2001 People are being warned to watch out for computer viruses which could be hidden in electronic Christmas cards. Anti-virus software companies say most computer users can expect to receive a flood of e-mails during the festive season.


"Just be vigilant," said Andrew Armstrong, general manager of anti-virus firm Trend Micro, "because you'll be getting e-mails with Christmas cards in or with attachments, and they could potentially be a virus.
"You need to make sure that if you receive anything unsolicited with an attachment and you don't recognise it, be very careful with it," he said. "Don't open it.

"You can get online checkers that will check your system for viruses and you should also look at putting some anti-virus software on to your home computer."
Mr Armstrong said that although most home users had heard about the dangers of viruses, most people thought that their machines would not become infected.

One example is the worm contains a file attachment entitled "christmas.exe". It uses familiar social engineering tactics to entice recipients to double click on the attachment, before mailing itself and the victim's contact list to everyone in the contact's address book.
"Over the last week, we have seen thousands of executable files like this that have been sent as jokes or Christmas cards," said Shipp. "We have seen 4,000 copies of such viruses this week, and so from a social engineering point of view, it looks like this virus will continue."

The worm arrives with the body text:

"I can't describe my feelings

But all i can say is

Happy New Year :-)

Bye."

Once the Christmas.exe application is opened, the worm will modify the user's Internet Explorer (IE) home page so that the browser now points to a malicious Web site. This site will then exploit a vulnerability in IE and run a Visual Basic Script on the infected computer that will attempt to delete significant portions of the Windows operating system.

Experts believe the worm spreads through shared network drives, and by taking advantage of Microsoft applications. Computer Associates has reported that the virus will email itself to everyone in an infected victim's Outlook address book.

According to reports, Symantec believes the worm also spreads via Microsoft's Instant Messaging software, and will try to delete antivirus software from an infected PC.




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