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

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

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.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?