Computer forensics links internet postcards to virus

Jul 25, 2009

Fake Internet postcards circulating through e-mail inboxes worldwide are carrying links to the virus known as Zeus Bot, said Gary Warner, director of computer forensics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Zeus Bot has been named America's most pervasive computer Botnet virus by Network World magazine, reportedly infecting 3.6 million U.S. computers.

"These fake postcards ask users to click and download to view the contents, and as soon as that click is made the Zeus Bot has infected their computers," Warner said. "Once on a user's computer, Zeus Bot will give access to passwords and account numbers for bank, e-mail and other sensitive online accounts."

A Botnet is a collection of compromised or infected computers that runs specific software that usually has been installed on computers without the user's knowledge.

Warner said cyber criminals who are employing the Russian-language Zeus Bot software are using the fake Internet postcards as the latest mechanism to download the software onto unwitting users' computers. Once the virus is on a computer it becomes a part of the Zeus and is able to steal Web site data from victims. The malware uses a graphical user interface to keep track of infected machines throughout the world and is equipped with tools that allow the criminals to prioritize the banks and related stolen accounts they want to strike, Warner said.

"These messages are standard in their design and carry a subject line that indicates they come from the Web site 1001 Postcards," Warner said.

"In this case and when it comes to messages that are supposedly from your bank, or any other site, don't click on the links in an e-mail," Warner said. "Instead, type the address for the site that the message is coming from into your Web browser and log in as you normally would. If the site has an important message for you, you'll be able to find it."

Read more at Warner's blog at garwarner.blogspot.com/ .

Source: University of Alabama at Birmingham (news : web)

Explore further: Twitter looks to weave into more mobile apps

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Huge computer worm Conficker stirring to life

Apr 09, 2009

(AP) -- The dreaded Conficker computer worm is stirring. Security experts say the worm's authors appear to be trying to build a big moneymaker, but not a cyber weapon of mass destruction as many people feared.

Conficker worm digs in around the world

Apr 01, 2009

Computer security top guns around the world watched warily as the dreaded Conficker worm squirmed deeper into infected machines with the arrival of an April 1st trigger date.

Tech 101: How a denial-of-service attack works

Jul 08, 2009

(AP) -- Investigators are piecing together details about one of the most aggressive computer attacks in recent memory - a powerful "denial-of-service" assault that overwhelmed computers at U.S. and South Korean ...

Recommended for you

Twitter looks to weave into more mobile apps

11 hours ago

Twitter on Wednesday set out to weave itself into mobile applications with a free "Fabric" platform to help developers build better programs and make more money.

Google unveils app for managing Gmail inboxes

13 hours ago

Google is introducing an application designed to make it easier for its Gmail users to find and manage important information that can often become buried in their inboxes.

Fighting cyber-crime one app at a time

18 hours ago

This summer Victoria University of Wellington will be home to four Singaporean students researching cyber threats. The students have been working with Dr Ian Welch, a lecturer in Victoria's School of Engineering and Computer ...

Is big data heading for its 'horsemeat moment'?

20 hours ago

There have been so many leaks, hacks and scares based on misuse or misappropriation of personal data that any thought that "big data" could provide benefits rather than only opportunities for harm may be ...

User comments : 0