Last year (2007) saw a record number of new viruses released to an unsuspecting public and, as always, the malware market showed itself to be up-to-date with the lastest technology, news and trends.
PandaLabs, Panda Security’s anti-malware laboratory, has drawn up this review of some of the more curious examples of malware that appeared in the second half of 2007:
* Modern times – The Aifone.A Trojan was no doubt the most up-to-the-minute example of malicious code detected in recent months. As soon as Apple’s iPhone was launched, this malware was promoting it…albeit as a trick to help spread copies of itself among users.
* Kidnapped! – Sinowal.FY is a Trojan designed to encrypt files it finds on infected computers, forcing users to buy a specific tool in order to decrypt them. A real kidnapper, with users’ files in the role of hostages.
* A most mischievous worm – RogueMario.A is a worm that aims to entertain users as it infects them. This malicious code is designed to install a version of the famous Mario Bros game every time it infects a computer.
* Lost in translation – Worms such as MSNFunny.B, Mimbot.A or MsnSend.A might be welcome in any international communication agency, as they can send out messages in dozens of languages. The phrases might not been very well constructed, but you can’t have everything.
* On the campaign trail – Voter.A is a worm with a civic conscience, inviting citizens of Kenya to participate in elections and vote for one of the candidates. Unfortunately the technique is a little annoying, as it displays an image of the candidate every nine seconds. It is doubtful whether this type of ‘support’ will be doing the candidate any favours.
* A poor imitation – The Sohanat.DB prevents users from accessing certain search engines, displaying instead an imitation, albeit a poor one, of the Google page. If users visit any of the pages that are listed by this search engine, they will most likely be taken to a pornographic website or infected with malware. Had the creators paid a bit more attention to detail, they might have had more success.
* I spy… – AttachMsngr.G is a Trojan with a real thirst for knowledge, knowledge, that is, about everything that users do on their computers: it captures keystrokes, mouse movements and can even store MSN Messenger conversations. If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, in this case at least, a lot of knowledge is worse.
* Telling tales – CivilArmy.B is a worm that knows how to tell a story. Before warning users that their computer is infected, it tells a romantic tale about two young lovers. Perhaps it is an attempt to encourage users to read more… or perhaps not.
* The big question – The LiveDeath.A Trojan, whenever it infects computer, opens the command console and forces users to respond to a number of questions, such as “What is your favorite colour?” However, regardless of the answer, the computer will shut down.