|Sophos's anti-virus products can shield fantasy
online gamers from the worm.
Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global
network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have reported
that a new spyware worm, W32/PrsKey-A, is designed
to steal usernames and passwords from players of a massive
multi-player internet role-playing game.
The PrsKey-A spyware worm attempts to steal passwords and user
information from players of the massive medieval fantasy
role-playing game, "Priston Tale". "Priston Tale" is played over
the internet and has millions of subscribers around the globe, many
of them in South Korea which has an advanced internet
The worm lurks in the background waiting for users to enter
either "Priston Tale" or the Yahoo mail system, and then begins
capturing keypresses including usernames and passwords.
"More malware is being written that, as well as causing
disruption, also steals registration keys, passwords and data from
players of computer games," said Graham Cluley, senior
technology consultant for Sophos. "This isn't just about doing
better in a computer game. Criminals are stealing virtual assets
like armor, money and weapons to trade for hard cash in the real
world. We are seeing a trend of more battles between rival internet
gamers and malicious code to assist with this kind of robbery."
Disturbingly, the spyware worm also steals information from
users of the Yahoo mail system, giving hackers an opportunity to
steal infected user's identities.
"Priston Tale" is a fantasy multi-player game which involves
fighting monsters across a 3D world. Originating in South Korea, it
is also played in Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand and
English-speaking countries. Some players have submerged themselves
into the virtual world's universe, playing for many hours at a
Other popular multi-player online games whose players have been
targeted by viruses and Trojan horses in the past include
"Lineage", "Outwar" and "Legend of Mir 2". Last month, Sophos
reported that a
gang had been arrested in South Korea for allegedly stealing from
online gamers via password stealers.
Although there have been relatively few reports of this worm,
Sophos recommends computer users ensure their anti-virus software
is up-to-date, and that companies protect themselves with a
consolidated solution which can defend
them from the threats of both spam and viruses.