|The Trojan horse steals user information and passwords from players of the online role-playing game "Lineage".|
Virus experts at Sophos have reported that a new Trojan horse, Troj/LegMir-Y, is designed to steal usernames and passwords from players of a massive multi-player internet role-playing game.
The Legmir-Y Trojan horse attempts to steal passwords and user information from players of the massive medieval fantasy role-playing game, "Lineage". "Lineage" is played over the internet and has millions of subscribers around the globe, many of them in South Korea which has an advanced internet infrastructure.
"It is more and more common for the analysts in our virus lab to discover that, as well as causing disruption, a piece of new malware is designed to steal registration keys, passwords and data from players of computer games," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "It's sad to think that people will be so desperate to do better in a virtual world that they're actually prepared to commit a real crime. We expect to see more internet skirmishes between rival internet gamers and malicious code to assist this kind of internet robbery in the future."
The "Lineage" role-playing game is inspired by a series of comic books by Shin Il-sook about a prince who tries to reclaim his rightful throne. Some players have submerged themselves into the virtual world's universe, playing for many hours at a time.
"Disturbingly, the Legmir-Y Trojan horse also attempts to turn off anti-virus software and security-related applications, leaving the door open for future hacker attacks. Everyone should remember that viruses, worms and Trojan horses aren't a game - they are a costly nuisance to computer users around the world," continued Cluley.
Other popular multi-player online games whose players have been targeted by viruses and Trojan horses in the past include "Outwar" and "Legend of Mir 2". Last month, a British youth received a six-month suspended sentence for his part in distributing the Randex worm, with the intention of gaining points in "Outwar".
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.
Sophos is headquartered in Boston, US and Oxford, UK. More information is available at www.sophos.com.