A classic technique beloved of cyber-crooks is to use current affairs and events to hoodwink unsuspecting PC users into downloading malicious code. This social engineering tactic was out in force with the recent Olympic Games in Beijing.
Panda Security can reveal that one malware variant capitalising on the hype of this being an Olympic year is Bck/PcClient.HV which pretends to be a PowerPoint presentation about the Games – replete with pictures of the iconic "Bird's Nest" stadium.
Should you download the file, however, you end up unwittingly installing PcCortr.dll and 81.dll – and these wily variants reduce the system's security level, enabling the file wuauct.exe, which has been copied by the malware in the system folder, to remotely connect to a Chinese IP to send information about the infected computer.
"Malware creators will stop at nothing to ensure that their viruses worm their way onto as many users' PCs as possible," says Jeremy Matthews, head of Panda Security's sub-Saharan operations. "It's no wonder that a PandaLabs study showed that one in four protected PCs are infected with malware. This latest variant is a reminder of the importance of having top-notch security."
Matthews advises PC users to avoid opening attachments – however innocuous they may appear – if they are from an unknown or suspicious email address.