'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 PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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 News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?