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19 Sep 2005

Spammed Trojan horse attempts to turn off security on attacked PCs, Sophos reports

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The Trojan horse has been spammed around the world, and attempts to disable anti-virus and other security software.

Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have warned of a Trojan horse that has been spammed out to millions of email addresses around the world.

The spammed out email messages, which have no subject line, typically carry the message text "new price" and an attached file which can have one of several names, including 09_price.zip, price_new.zip, and price2.zip.

The attached ZIP files all contain a malicious file called price.exe, which is the Troj/BagleDl-U Trojan horse. If launched the Trojan horse makes changes to the registry, runs Windows Notepad to act as a decoy, and attempts to turn off anti-virus and security-related software on the infected computer, opening the door for attack by remote hackers. The Trojan horse also tries to download further code from the internet.

"This Trojan horse is being aggressively seeded by its creator, using spam technology, to distribute malicious code to as many vulnerable computers as possible, in the shortest amount of time," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Anyone unfortunate enough to run this program is running the risk of allowing hackers to gain access to their computer to spy, steal and cause havoc."

Sophos recommends that all computer users should ensure that they are running an anti-virus product which is configured to automatically update itself, security patches and firewall software.

"Keeping anti-virus software up-to-date is a must. Regular anti-virus updates combined with sensible safe computing policies and strong email policy at the gateway reduces the risk of threats like this to a minimum," continued Cluley. "We would be surprised if the malware author stops at this point - it's likely they will release further variants in an attempt to hit as many people as possible."

Sophos recommends that companies protect their email gateways with a consolidated solution to defend against viruses and spam, as well as apply an email policy that filters unsolicited executable code at the gateway. Businesses should also secure their desktop and servers with automatically updated protection.

About Sophos

More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos as the best protection against complex threats and data loss. Sophos is committed to providing complete security solutions that are simple to deploy, manage, and use and that deliver the industry's lowest total cost of ownership. Sophos offers award-winning encryption, endpoint security, web, email, mobile and network security solutions backed by SophosLabs - a global network of threat intelligence centers.

Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.