Red Cross warns of Trojan horse

The American Red Cross is warning people of a credit card-stealing Trojan horse program sent via e-mail that looks like it comes from the disaster-relief organization.

In a statement, the Washington-based Red Cross said it was notified of the computer virus, dubbed Septer.Trojan, on Wednesday by its information security vendor, Symantec Corp. Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec classified the threat risk from the virus as low because the e-mail must be sent manually.

Vincent Weafer, senior director at Symantec, said he knows of no one who has fallen for the ruse, and that Symantec has identified only the Web site where the phony donation form is located. It will take a few days to determine how many e-mails went out with the trojan, he said.

"I suspect it's not very widespread," Weafer said, since the Trojan can't self-replicate, and the recipients must be specifically targeted by the virus writer.

Security Focus Inc.'s ARIS antivirus warning service in San Mateo, Calif., also sent out an alert on the virus yesterday, although the company considers it to be low risk, spokesman Ryan Russell said.

According to the Red Cross, the virus comes in the form of an executable file attached to an e-mail message. If the user clicks on the file, he's presented with a donation request form to fill out. The e-mail appears to come from the Red Cross, United Way and the September 11 Fund. Once the form is complete, the user's personal information is saved and uploaded to a Web site not connected to the organization.

Symantec has posted a bulletin about Septer.Trojan on its Web site. A spokesman for the Red Cross couldn't be reached for comment.

Symantec said the Trojan virus won't let users close the displayed form without filling in the requested information. However, users should be able to close the form by holding down the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys and then selecting "end task." If the form hasn't been filled in, no information will be sent to the virus creator, the Red Cross statement said.

According to Symantec, the file size of the virus attachment is 518,144KB. If the recipient views it in Microsoft Corp.'s Outlook e-mail program, the attachment will display a World Wide Web icon.

Although the Red Cross isn't soliciting for donations via e-mail, the organization said it sent out an e-mail message to previous donors on Sept. 14. This message contained a link to an official, secure online donation site.

In addition, the organization said that when its nationwide chapters and business partners send out fundraising e-mail messages, the donor is directed to the American Red Cross' official Web site, the Web site of one of its chapters, or to the site of one of its online partners.

The Red Cross, which advised people who receive the fraudulent e-mail to delete it, said it has notified law enforcement officials.

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.

Linda Rosencrance

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

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 >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

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 x360

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 910

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.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?