Hackers dupe users with spam about bogus US-Iran war

Fake footage of a US led strike against Iran infects users with a Trojan virus

A weekend spam run tried to dupe recipients into downloading the infamous "Storm Trojan" by attaching files that posed as videos of a bogus missile strike by the U.S. against Iran, antivirus vendors said Monday.

The unsolicited e-mail, which arrives with provocative subject lines that include "Missle [sic] Strike: The USA kills more then [sic] 20000 Iranian citizens," "USA Declares War on Iran," and "USA Just Have Started World War III," include attached executable files such as video.exe and readme.exe, said Symantec.

"The underlying threats are actually nothing new," said Symantec researcher John McDonald on the company's security response team's blog. "They are simply minor variants of Trojan.Peacomm and W32.Mixor, which have been repacked in an attempt to avoid existing detection and appear to have been largely successful at that." Symantec added that executable file attached to the war-scare spam is actually a worm that downloads and install both Trojan horses.

According to data from MessageLabs, Peacomm -- also known as Zhelatin -- was the most prevalent piece of malware in the past 24 hours. It accounted for 32% of all malicious code being distributed worldwide, said MessageLabs.

By early today, other security companies, including F-Secure, Fortinet, Kaspersky Lab and Sophos, had released updated signatures to detect the tweaked threat.

Peacomm, which also goes by the nickname "Storm Trojan," is notable because an outbreak in January and February ended up claiming the prize as the biggest malware assault since mid-2005.

Previous spam runs of the malware have enticed users with romantic subject headings around Valentine's Day; the malicious code has been spread through blogs and instant messaging as well as e-mail.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

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?