Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Worm poses as pirated 'Grand Theft Auto'

Filed under
Security

A worm that targets gamers is making the rounds, tapping into popular titles and peer-to-peer file sharing, a security company has warned.

The worm, Hagbard.A, tries to disguise itself on peer-to-peer networks as pirated downloads of the popular games titles "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," "Need for Speed Underground 2" and 400 other programs, Sophos said in an advisory released on Friday.

The downloaded program will copy itself to the file-sharing folder on the compromised PC and attempt to spread using Windows Messenger. An instant message sent to others on the service contains a link to the worm and reads: "please download this...its only small brb."

"Because this worm can arrive in the form of an instant message, some users may be fooled into thinking it has come from a friend or colleague, rather than a virus on their PC," Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, said in a statement.

In addition, Hagbard puts a new twist on instant-messaging worms, security experts said, because it installs a Web server program on the infected computer. That could enable malicious attackers to gain remote access to data.

"This one has an interesting behaviour," said Art Gilliland, director of product management at IMLogic, an instant-messaging security provider. "It downloads a Web server to give someone remote access, which is more malicious than the spyware or adware that gets downloaded onto systems from other IM worms."

More of these malicious IM worms may be in the works, as virus writers go from testing the technology to putting it into full-scale use, Gilliland added.

Although Hagbard carries a different bite than other worms, it has not spread as rapidly as other viruses, security experts said.

"We haven't seen a larger number of reports. But that may not be surprising, because most of our customers are enterprises," Cluley said, noting that Hagbard's prevalence is currently rated low. "If it does break out, it will likely be a problem with home users, because most companies prohibit file sharing."

By Dawn Kawamoto
ZDNet

More in Tux Machines

Matching databases to Linux distros

Relational database management systems (RDBMSs) aren’t the sort of thing to get most folk out of bed in the morning – unless, of course, you happen to think they’re one of the most brilliant concepts ever dreamed up. These days you can’t sneeze without someone turning it into a table value in a database somewhere - and in combination with the freely available Linux operating system, there’s no end to them. Most Linux distros make it almost trivial to add popular DBMSs to your system, such as MySQL and MariaDB, by bundling them in for free in their online app stores. But how do you tell which combination - which Linux distro and which DBMS - will give you the best performance? This week we've revved up the Labs servers to ask the question: what level of performance do you get from OS repository-sourced DBMSs? Read more

The Curious Case of Raspberry Pi Consumerism

I find the attitude of many within the Raspberry Pi community to be strange and offensive. I first discovered this odd phenomenon (odd because it contradicts the ethos of the project's academic foundations) back when it first started, as many within the Raspberry Pi community took an extremely hostile attitude toward academic freedom, apparently in defence of various parties' highly dubious intellectual monopolies (Broadcom and MPEG-LA, for example). I pointed out the irony and hypocrisy of their attitude at the time, explaining that they were more than happy to leech Free (as in freedom) Software for their own benefit, but then balked at the prospect of freely sharing the results, and in particular this contradicted their stated academic goal of facilitating better computer education in UK schools, an environment that rightly demands open access to knowledge. Read more

Google Chrome 38 Beta Brings New Guest Mode and Easier Incognito Mode Switching

The developers have explained that the user switching feature has been redesigned and it will make changing profiles and into the incognito mode a lot simple. They have also added a new experimental Guest mode, a new experimental UI for Chrome supervised users has been implemented, and numerous under-the-hood changes have been made for stability and performance. "This release adds support for the new element thanks to the hard work of community contributor Yoav Weiss, who was able to dedicate his time to implementing this feature in multiple rendering engines because of a successful crowd-funding campaign that raised more than 50% of its funding goal." Read more

PfSense 2.1.5 Is a Free and Powerful FreeBSD-Based Firewall Operating System

PfSense is a free network firewall distribution based on the FreeBSD, it comes with a custom kernel, and a few quite powerful applications that should make its users’ life a lot easier. Most of the firewall distros are Linux-based, but PfSense is a little bit different and is using FreeBSD. Regular users won't feel anything out of the ordinary, but it's an interesting choice for the base. The developers of PfSense are also saying that their distro has been successful in replacing a number of commercial firewalls such as Check Point, Cisco PIX, Cisco ASA, Juniper, Sonicwall, Netgear, Watchguard, Astar, and others. Read more