March 23, 2007 10:31 AM PDT

Trojan horse targets Skype users

Miscreants have again adapted the Warezov Trojan horse to target Skype users, Websense Security Labs warned on Thursday.

The attack is similar to threats that target instant-messaging applications. A targeted Skype user will receive a chat message with the text "Check up this" and a link to a malicious executable called "file_01.exe" on a Web site, Websense said in an alert. If the user runs the file, several other files are downloaded and run, it said.

Once infected, a computer will be at the beck and call of the attacker and the Trojan horse will start sending messages to the victim's Skype contacts to propagate, Websense said. The attack is similar to one reported in February, but it has been adapted with files hosted at different locations and a new version of the malicious code, the security company said.

Skype has acknowledged in the past that its instant-messaging feature could be used for nefarious purposes just like any other IM service. The company has said that it is looking at partnerships with security firms to offer a capability for the Skype client that filters out malicious links.

"Harmful viruses and Trojan horses may damage a user's computer and collect private data, regardless of whether a person is using Skype, e-mail or IM clients," Kurt Sauer, Skype chief security officer, said Friday. Skype warned users against opening the malicious file and said they should take caution in general when opening attachments. The company also recommends using antivirus software to check incoming files, Sauer said.

Warezov, also known as Stration, has been around since at least September. Several variants of the malicious code have appeared. Miscreants have spread it via spam e-mail, as well as Skype.

See more CNET content tagged:
Skype, Kurt Sauer, Websense Inc., malicious code, trojan horse

4 comments

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Trojan Horses, No Problem. Just Buy Websense's crap
I'm becoming ever more dubious about the so-called threat claims from these security technology vendors. This isn't to diminish specific threat conditions, but I've become weary because invariably all these problems are rendered null, moot and "no worries" if organizations adopt a proactive security approach. I'm sure the dullard marketing wizards at Websense would disagree, arguing that every organization should buy their Web filtering/Content stopping solutions and pay their yearly ransom...er, I mean service fee and should be happy to do so. After all, they'll be afforded protection from every known threat the product looks for. The problem is that the cost doesn't match the protection. Threat variants change daily reducing the effectiveness of these technology-based solutions.

I recall that in the early days of anti-virus when McAfee was accused of unscrupulous tactics, creating viruses to sell their products. I suppose in today's market these claims are just as valid except they're not being mention because all the analysts, media outlets and whomever are making money from the hype.
Posted by Schratboy (122 comments )
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IMO: IM is insecure
IM Stands for Insecure Messaging... (* GRIN *) even though the politically correct word is Instant Messaging! (* Double GRIN *)

Nuff said.

This time it was Skype, next time it will be Yahoo or Google or some other chat software.

Until security is built into IM... these exploits will contine.

Walt
Posted by wbenton (522 comments )
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Skype is free
Skype ( <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.highspeedsat.com/skype.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.highspeedsat.com/skype.htm</a> ) is the famous free downloadable client program (versions available for Windows, MacOS X, Linux, and Pocket PC) from Skype Technologies Limite (www.skype.com) that lets you do free voice sessions ("tlephone calls") with other Skype users ... and , for modes perminute fees, makes calls to PSTN phone number ("Skype-Out") and /or let PSTN users call you, on a
PSTN phone number ("SkypeIn"). Other features availabe-some ofr modest fees-inlude voice mail/messaging, call forwarding, conferencing calling, chat, file transfer, and video.
Posted by electronino (15 comments )
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Even thought this is a good heads up...
With all the alerts and warnings out there, if people by now don't know to not click on an exe file from an unknown source, regardless if it shows up in an email or via an instant messagem, that is beyond sad.
Posted by Anysia (104 comments )
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