11/20/2009

New computer virus targeting Twilight fans by tricking into downloading scareware

Yahoo and USA Today are reporting about a new computer virus targeting Twilight fans

A Web-enabled attack that's spreading lures via emails, blogs and corrupted search results is under way targeting Twilight fans. The bait: a chance to see a pirated copy of New Moon before the much-anticipated vampire movie's official Friday release.

The lures all require the fan to first download a free video player, called streamviewer. But clicking on streamviewer.exe actually results in the swift installation of a wormhole, called a Trojan downloader, on the fan's harddrive. The bad guys can now load any malicious program they so choose on the PC, says Michael Greene, Vice President of Product Strategy, at PC Tools.

Thus far, the bad guys have been installing a scareware program that launches a fake security scan and tries to get the user to spend $80 for a worthless cleanup and antivirus protection.

For example, when fans searched for "Stephenie Meyer" yesterday on Google, they may have encountered a search result that read "Stephenie Meyer at 365Multimedia.com." But instead of seeing a legitimate interview, the fake security scan appeared; hitting the cancel button only ensured that the subsequent pitch for worthless protection would follow.
The last time an attack of this scale and sophistication swamped the Internet was during the run up to the last Harry Potter movie, says Greene. While the bad guys, at the moment, appear to be after a quick buck selling scareware, the wormhole they set in place poses an ongoing threat. It gives them the ability to use the PC as part of a botnet to spread spam, steal data and take control of Web mail, social networking and online banking accounts.


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