Cross-platform worm targets Facebook users

October 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Security News

A new member of the Koobface family of malware has been making the headlines in the last 24 hours. The reason why the threat, which is sometimes being referred to as “Boonana”, has been getting so much attention is that it doesn’t just infect Windows, but targets Mac OS X and Linux computers too.


This incarnation of the Koobface worm appears to have been spread via Facebook in messages asking “is this you in this video”.


IMPORTANT! PLEASE READ. Hi <username>. Is this you in this video here : <link>


Clicking on the link takes you to an external website that displays an image of a woman (grabbed from the Hot Or Not website).


Lady's picture


Visitors to the webpage who want to see more are prompted to give permission for an applet called JPhotoAlbum.class to be run from inside a Java Archive (JAR) called JNANA.TSA.


Warning message

Warning message


Whether you are running Windows, Mac OS X or Linux on your computer, if you give permission for the highly obfuscated Java app to run then the malware will sneakily download a variety of programs from the internet which it will then execute on your computer.


Files which can be downloaded include:



Sophos detects various components of the attack as Troj/KoobStrt-A, Troj/KoobInst-A, Troj/KoobCls-A, Troj/Agent-PDY, Troj/DwnLdr-IOX, and Troj/DwnLdr-IOY. In addition, Sophos’s web protection blocks access to the malicious webpages.


Don’t forget to always be careful about what links you click on, even if they appear to have been shared by someone you know on Facebook.


And if you’re a user of Linux or Mac OS X, don’t think that the malware problem only exists on Windows. Malicious hackers are becoming increasingly interested in targeting other platforms, and if users of your operating system have a reputation for being dismissive of malware warnings on your preferred OS, the bad guys may consider you a soft target.


By Graham Cluley @




More malware exploiting Windows shortcut vulnerability

July 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Security News

It probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone, but more evidence has come to light that cybercriminals are actively exploiting the Windows shortcut vulnerability (also known as CVE-2010-2568).


Like the earlier Stuxnet attack, more examples of specially crafted shortcut (.LNK) files that point to malicious code and trick Windows into executing it without user interaction have been analysed in our labs.


Overnight Sophos saw two malware samples that were being spread by the .LNK vulnerability. Customers of Sophos products were already protected as we detect the .LNK shortcuts generically as Exp/Cplink-A or Troj/Cplink – however, here is more information on the specific malware:


Also known as Chymine, this keylogging Trojan horse is designed to steal information from infected computers.


Troj/Chymin-A may be downloaded by exploited Windows Shortcut (.LNK) files.


W32/Dulkis-A is the more interesting of the two examples of malware we saw related to the exploit overnight, as it drops .LNK shortcut files that exploit the vulnerability to removable drives such as USB sticks. Sophos products detect these .LNK files as Exp/Cplink-A.


W32/Dulkis-A is a Windows worm, written in obfuscated Visual Basic, which copies itself to any attached removable storage device using the files 9.tmp (detected as Mal/TDSSPack-Z), xxx.dll (detected as W32/Dulkis-A) and <randomname>.tmp (detected as Troj/Nebule-Gen).



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Shortcut zero-day attack code goes public

July 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Security News

If you’ve been following Chet Wisniewski’s blog over the last few days you will already know about the serious zero-day vulnerability that has been found in versions of Windows.


Since confirmed by Microsoft, there exists a vulnerability in versions of Windows which allows a maliciously-crafted Windows shortcut file (.lnk) run a malicious DLL file, simply by being viewed on a USB stick.


Furthermore, the attack can be initiated automatically by viewing an affected USB storage device via Windows Explorer, even with AutoRun and AutoPlay are disabled. The Microsoft Security Response Center (MSRC) says that the security hole can also be remotely exploited via WebDAV and network shares.


You can watch the following YouTube video where Chet shows the attack in action:

(Enjoy this video? You can check out more on the SophosLabs YouTube channel and subscribe if you like)

In this case, the DLL executed carries a rootkit – helping hide the infection from prying eyes.


What is of particular concern, of course, is that other malicious hackers might try to exploit the vulnerability – as it would certainly be a useful tool in any malware’s arsenal. The chances of that occurring has increased over the weekend, as a hacker called Ivanlef0u published proof-of-concept code onto the internet.


In the past we’ve seen worms (Conficker is perhaps the most famous example) spread successfully via USB devices, which prompted many firms to disable AutoPlay.


There is a real risk that more malware will take advantage of the zero-day exploit now the code is “out there”, taking things to a whole new level.


So far, Microsoft has not made a patch available for the problem and has given no timeline as to when a proper fix will be available. However, I’m sure they are feverishly working on a security update for this critical vulnerability.


Sophos detects the malware we’ve seen so far using the exploit as W32/Stuxnet-B and Troj/Cplink-A.



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90 Second Security Roundup (Video)

June 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Security Channel



Horrific photo forced photographer to kill himself? Don’t be too quick to click

June 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Security News

After a week full of clickjacking attacks, we’re seeing other dodgy links being spread widely between Facebook users who should perhaps know better.


One that I have seen crop up a lot, is appearing in the status updates of Facebook users with phrases like:

This horrific photo forced photographer to kill himself!

This horrific photo forced photographer to kill himself!


This horrific photo forced photographer to kill himself!

This horrific photo forced photographer to kill himself!

Clicking on links like these can take you to Facebook pages which names such as “Man Commits Suicide 3 Days After Taking This Photo”.

Man Commits Suicide 3 Days after Taking This Photo

These Facebook pages force you to first “Like” them and then republish the link on your own Facebook page (advertising it to your online friends) before you eventually get to see the photograph.

The Facebook page forces you to pass on the message

Just ask yourself this – do you really want to recommend a page to your friends, before you know what lies behind it? For all you know, you could be passing on a link which will ultimately take your online pals to a phishing page or malware.


As it happens, the pages are lying in any case.


The photograph – of an emaciated young girl in Sudan – was taken in March 1993 by prize-winning South African photo-journalist Kevin Carter. Carter did kill himself – but it was over a year later in South Africa, not three days after the photo was taken as claimed by the Facebook links.


You can probably imagine, however, that people would easily agree to publish the link to all their friends – in their morbid interest to see the photo – and thus help it spread quickly.


In fact, it’s no surprise that links like these are spreading so quickly and virally across Facebook, when popular pages such as “I like your makeup…LOL JK, it looks like you got gangbanged by Crayola” (currently 1.7 million fans and counting) have republished it to all of their followers.


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Don’t click on ‘Paramore n-a-k-ed photo leaked!’ Facebook link

June 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Security News

Updated Many Facebook users are being hit by further clickjacking attacks today, taking advantage of the social network’s “Like” facility.


The latest lure is a link which claims to point to a website containing a naked photo of Hayley Williams, the lead singer of the American rock band Paramore.


Affected profiles can be identified by seeing that the Facebook user has apparently “liked” a link:

Paramore n-a-k-ed photo leaked!

Paramore n-a-k-ed photo leaked! malicious message


The fact that 21-year-old Hayley Williams has recently been the subject of much internet interest after a topless photo of her was leaked online, is only likely to fuel interest in the naked pictures promised by these links. But take care, because all may not be what it seems.


Clicking on the links takes Facebook users to a third-party website which displays a message saying:

Click here to continue if you are 18 years of age or above

Paramore naked photo age check

What the hackers have actually done is very sneaky. They have hidden an invisible button under your mouse, so wherever you click on the website your mouse-press is hijacked. As a consequence, when you click with the mouse you’re also secretly clicking on a button which tells Facebook that you ‘like’ the webpage. This then gets published on your own Facebook page, and shared with your online friends, resulting in the link spreading virally.


Attacks like this can spread very very fast. Judging by the number of messages I’ve seen, thousands have already found it impossible to resist the idea of seeing the lead singer of Paramore naked and have fallen head-first into the “likejacking” trap.


This use of a clickjacking exploit to publish the same message (via an invisible iFrame) to the visiting user’s own Facebook page works in a similar fashion to the clickjacking attacks we saw earlier this week.


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Bad tidings as spam spreads malware

June 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Security News

SophosLabs are intercepting a major new malicious spam campaign which is disguising itself as a greeting card from “someone who cares about you”.

Malicious greeting card message


The messages, which have been sent to email addresses around the globe, typically read similar to the following:

Good afternoon,
You have just received a postcard Greeting from someone who cares about you..

Please find zip file with your Greeting Card attached to this mail!

Thank you for using services !!!
Please take this opportunity to let your friends hear about us by sending them a postcard from our collection !


The messages come complete with an attached ZIP file ( which contains a malicious payload, designed to infect Windows computers.



Viral clickjacking ‘Like’ worm hits Facebook users

May 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Security News

Hundreds of thousands of Facebook users have fallen for a social-engineering trick which allowed a clickjacking worm to spread quickly over Facebook this holiday weekend.


Affected profiles can be identified by seeing that the Facebook user has apparently “liked” a link:

Girl gets owned after a police officer reads her status message

Messages seen being used by the spammers include:

"LOL This girl gets OWNED after a POLICE OFFICER reads her STATUS MESSAGE."

"This man takes a picture of himself EVERYDAY for 8 YEARS!!"

"The Prom Dress That Got This Girl Suspended From School."

"This Girl Has An Interesting Way Of Eating A Banana, Check It Out!"


Clicking on the links takes Facebook users to what appears to be a blank page with just the message “Click here to continue”.

Click to continue


However, clicking at any point of the page publishes the same message (via an invisible iFrame) to their own Facebook page, in a similar fashion to the “Fbhole” wormwe saw earlier this month.



Critical security updates from Microsoft and Adobe

May 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Security News

It was “Patch Tuesday” yesterday, which means another parcel of security updates for computer users to unwrap, and this time the fixes aren’t just from Microsoft, but from Adobe too.


First on the menu is Microsoft, which has served up two security bulletins detailing vulnerabilities that could be exploited by hackers to execute malicious code (such as a worm) on your computer.


The first of these security holes exists in Outlook Express, Windows Mail, and Windows Live Mail. Microsoft’s Security Research & Defense blog goes into some detail about the vulnerability, explaining that although the security hole is given a “critical rating” on Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008, it is considered less serious for Windows 7 users as Windows Live Mail is not installed by default on that platform.


The other patch from Microsoft addresses a vulnerability in Visual Basic for Applications, a component used by Microsoft Office and other third-party products. Microsoft has given this security update its highest possible rating – “Critical” – for all supported versions of Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications SDK and third-party applications that use Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications. It is also rated “Important” for all supported editions of Microsoft Office XP, Microsoft Office 2003, and the 2007 Microsoft Office System.


Adobe Shockwave PlayerNext up is Adobe, who have released patches to squash over 20 security vulnerabilities in its Shockwave and ColdFusion products.


The critical vulnerabilities identified in Adobe Shockwave Player and earlier versions impact both Windows and Macintosh users, and could allow attackers to run malicious code on your computer.


Adobe recommends that users update their version of Adobe Shockwave Player to version


Details of the ColdFusion vulnerabilities, classed as “important”, are provided in Adobe Security Bulletin APSB10-11.


Enough of waffle. Download and install the patches if your computer is affected.


By Graham Cluley, Sophos


Removal tool for W32/VBSAuto-C, VBS/Slogod.X (Startup.scr, winxp.exe, winjpg.jpg, M.p.jpg) WORM

March 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Removal Tips,Tools and Videos




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