'Storm' Trojan horse taps into YouTube fever

Hackers have changed their tactics again

Hackers bent on spreading the Storm Trojan horse have changed tactics again and are now trying to dupe users into clicking on links posing as YouTube videos, security vendors warn.

Storm, a.k.a. Peacomm and Nuwar, is now spreading via e-mail that includes a link that appears to be to a YouTube video, said Johannes Ullrich, chief research officer at the SANS Institute, on the Internet Storm Center's blog this weekend. "The link looks like a link to YouTube, but actually points to a 'numeric' URL like old Storm variants," said Ullrich.

Placing the mouse cursor atop the bogus YouTube link will show a numeric IP address rather than the expected www.youtube.com, a good indicator of a scam attempt.

Recipients who click on the link see a message that claims the video is loading in the background, said Vinoo Thomas, a researcher at McAfee's Avert Labs. Actually, said Thomas, "an embedded obfuscated JavaScript routine attempts a cocktail of browser and application exploits." If any of those exploits are successful, Storm gets dropped on the PC.

Over the weekend, Roger Thompson, a researcher at Exploit Prevention Labs Inc., identified the multistrike exploit package as "Q406 Rollup," a collection that has made the rounds since late last year. Similar to other hacker kits such as Mpack, Q406 includes a dozen or more exploits.

Storm's markers have become well-known for their skill at adapting their pitches to get users to open attached files or click on e-mailed links. Last week, a Symantec researcher said the group was "very adept" at creating persuasive messages. "They have a knack for latching on to the latest newsworthy events and capitalizing on the public interest in them," said Hon Lu. "And if no newsworthy events are happening at the time, then they will just make them up."

The Storm Trojan horse reportedly behind the summer's plague of malicious greeting card spam, and the machines it has infected -- by some accounts a massive botnet -- served as the launching pad for a huge wave of pump-and-dump stock scam spam earlier this month.

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?