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  1. #1
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Instant messaging worm builds menacing 'botnet'
    A computer worms that spreads via instant messaging is being used to build an extensive "botnet" of remote-controlled PCs, a US security firm has warned.

    Security experts at US company FaceTime identified the worm as "W32.pipeline" and warned that it spreads via AOL's instant messenger program.

    The worm disguises a malicious executable program as a jpeg image, which is attached to an instant message that appears to come from someone on the recipient's AOL "buddy list".

    Typically, the picture is accompanied by the message, "hey would it be ok if I upload this picture of you to my blog?" although another similar message may also be used.

    Ultimate goal

    If the recipient tries to open the image, the executable installs a program on their PC. This forwards the executable on to other contacts on their buddy list and also enables connections to several remote computers. It then tries to download another program that allows an outsider control the infected machine.

    FaceTime's director of malware research Chris Boyd says the goal appears to be creating a huge network of remote-controlled machines, known as a "botnet". As of Thursday, Boyd estimates W32.pipeline had amassed botnet between 1000 and 2000 machines.

    Botnets may be used to send out huge quantities of junk e-mail or attack business websites with an avalanche of data, in a so-called distributed "denial-of-service" attack, which may be linked to extortion.

    Click fraud

    Botnets can also be used to commit "click fraud", which involves ordering the zombie machines to repeatedly click internet advertisements, to generate money for a company's that is paid per click.

    "The ultimate goal of the W32.pipeline is to create a sophisticated botnet that can be used for a range of malicious purposes," FaceTime said in a security alert issued on Tuesday.

    Boyd and other researchers posted details of the worm, including screenshots and "attack scenarios" to the company's blog

    They note that the botnet created using the worm, which is controlled via Internet Relay Chat (IRC) servers, is particularly sophisticated and uses a complicated "install chain" to schedule file uploads to infected machines.
    It's always something.

    Don't look at any pictures via instant messaging!
    Comments are opinion unless otherwise noted. Remember, pillage first. Then burn. Half of all people in the world have IQs under 100. You best learn to trust ol' SSanf!

  2. #2
    Crazy like a fox suzigeek's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
    There was something similar awhile back with Yahoo im. I'm not hip to the im thing...

  3. #3
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    May 31st, 2006
    Houston TX
    Guess it is only AOL's AIM.
    no mention of YM or MSN msgr..never know that AIM is still popular

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Matt McWilliams's Avatar
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    July 21st, 2006
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Wonder if it affects IM through Trillian?

    I use YM, AIM, and MSN so it's a must for me.

    I will do some research but if anyone finds out let us know!
    Matt McWilliams
    Call Me At: (317) 825-8826 | Follow Me On Twitter: @MattMcWilliams2 | Connect With Me On LinkedIn

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