New IM bug chats with you

A new malicious IM bot chats with users, possibly signifying a new and potentially dangerous trend, said IMlogic.

A new breed of malicious instant-message bots is on the loose, according to IMlogic, the developer of enterprise instant messaging security applications.

IMlogic issued the warning late on Tuesday and cited a recent example of such a malicious bot. On Monday, IMlogic first published details of a new threat known as IM.Myspace04.AIM. Once the computer of an American Online (AOL) IM (instant message) user is infected by the IM.Myspace04.AIM bot, the bot sends messages to people on the infected user's buddy list, making the messages appear to come from the infected user. The infected user isn't aware the messages are being sent. If recipients click on a URL (uniform resource locator) sent with a message, they'll also become infected and start spreading the virus.

A bot is a program that can automatically interact with people or other programs. AOL, for example, has bots that let users ask questions via IM, such as directory queries, and the bot responds.

The unusual part of this bot is that it replies to messages. If a recipient responds after the initial message, the bot replies with messages such as "lol no its not its a virus" and "lol thats cool." Because the bot mimics a live user interaction, it could increase infection rates, IMlogic said.

IMlogic continues to analyze this particular threat but so far it seems to only be propagating and not otherwise affecting users.

Some similar IM worms install spybots or keyloggers onto users' computers, said Sean Doherty, director of services in Europe, Middle East and Africa for IMlogic. Such malicious programs record key strokes or other user activity in an effort to discover user passwords or other information.

"What we're seeing with some of these worms is they vary quickly so the initial one may be a probe to see how well it infected users and then a later variant will be one that may put a spybot out," Doherty said. The initial worm could be essentially a proof of concept coming from the malware writers, he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?