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11 May 2006

Erazer Trojan takes the law into its own hands against online pirates

"This Trojan is a vigilante worthy of a Charles Bronson movie"

Music CD
The Erazer Trojan horse includes amongst its targets music pirates.

Experts at SophosLabs™, Sophos's global network of virus, spyware and spam analysis centers, have discovered a Trojan horse that seeks out and wipes movies and MP3 music tracks that it believed infected computers are illegally distributing via file-sharing networks.

The Troj/Erazer-A Trojan horse scours folders used for peer-to-peer file-sharing peer-to-peer for AVI, MP3, MPEG, WMV, GIF, ZIP and other files. If files are found by the Trojan it wipes them, and plants a copy of itself in the folder using tempting names such as game.exe, goporn.exe, nero7.exe and officexpcrack.exe.

"The Erazer Trojan is a vigilante worthy of a Charles Bronson movie, taking the law into its own hands. However, it's perfectly possible for the Trojan to aim poorly and wipe out innocent files too," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "The Erazer Trojan targets internet users it believes are involved in piracy, but fails to discriminate between the true criminals and those who may have MP3 music files or home movies that they have created themselves. Malware is not the way to fight internet piracy."

Sophos experts note that the Erazer Trojan horse also attempts to terminate a number of different security-related applications, which may assist hackers in gaining access to a compromised computer.

Sophos recommends companies put in place a consolidated solution to defend against viruses, spyware and spam, and ensure that it is automatically updated as new threats emerge.

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.