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!

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.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

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

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?