New virus targets, encrypts .exe files

Antivirus vendor Central Command Inc. has detected a new worm that, disguised as a warning from Microsoft Corp., mass-mails itself to users and once launched from an attachment, encrypts executable files, rendering them unusable.

The Medina, Ohio-based security company rates the virus as a medium risk and said that so far, there has been only one report of an infection. The worm, Win32.Invalid.A@mm, can infect computers running Windows 9x, NT and 2000.

Even so, Ryan Russell, an analyst at business security firm SecurityFocus.com Inc. in San Mateo, Calif., said the virus does pose a threat. "I think it's just early in the cycle," he said.

According to the announcement from Central Command, "The new worm named Win32.Invalid.A@mm carries a destructive payload that can render executable (.exe) applications unusable by encrypting them with a random encryption key."

The worm-embedded e-mail has a false From field indicating that it's from support@microsoft.com. It directs the user to download a patch to prevent buffer overruns in Internet Explorer from invalid Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates.

"The SSL protocol is used by many companies that require credit card or personal information, so there is a high possibility that you have this certificate installed," the bogus e-mail says. "To avoid being attacked by hackers, please download and install the attached patch. It is strongly recommended to install it because almost all users have this certificate installed without their knowledge."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer DiSabatino

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?