A new variant of an old Yahoo Instant Messenger Worm spreading fast.
In business, when something works, why bother to reinvent the wheel. A little nip here; a little tuck there and hey – you’re still in business! No surprise then, when we see that cybercriminals subscribe to this business philosophy.
Programs such as MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, etc, are wildly popular with users who want real-time computer contact with each other, and so, they form a perfect attack vector for malware distribution.
Symantec, along with a number of other security providers, are warning users of Yahoo Instant Messenger specifically, they are being targeted by a new variant of an old IM Worm, identified by Symantec as W32.Yimfoca.
(Graphics courtesy of Symantec)
If you are a Yahoo Instant Messenger user, you need to be particularly cautious, at the moment, in saving what appears to be a JPG or GIF file, but in fact could easily be this malicious executable.
This threat drops a worm which will lead to the attacker taking control of the victim’s computer. Additionally, the Worm is programmed to attack those in the victim’s contact list.
Given the frequency with which instant messaging is used to distribute malware (recent statistics indicate almost 50% of worms use this method to spread), the following is a series of sensible tips for users to get the most out of these programs, securely and responsibly.
As with any other application you use on the Internet, having the knowledge that allows you to use it safely, and being aware of current threats, will make for a more positive experience when using these wildly popular applications.
Sensible tips for users to get the most out of these programs, securely and responsibly.
You need to be alert to the dangers in clicking on links or downloading files from sources that are not known to you. Even if the files or links apparently come from someone you know, you have to be positive that it really was this person who has sent the message.
Check with your contact to be sure the files or links are genuine. Remember, if you click on those links or run those attachments without confirmation, you run the risk of letting malware into your computer.
Use only secure passwords and be sure to change them regularly. The longer and more varied they are – using a variety of different characters and numbers – the more secure they will be.
Revealing confidential or personal information in these types of conversations can make you an easy target for Internet predators. For added protection when using a public computer, ensure that you disable any features that retain login information to prevent other users from gaining access to your instant messaging once you leave.
It’s virtually impossible to avoid publishing your email address on the Internet, however, do so only when absolutely necessary. Cyber criminals are always on the lookout for accounts to target.
Above all, if you are a parent, take exceptional care with the access that your children have to these programs. The risk here goes beyond malware, as sadly, they could come into contact with undesirable, or even dangerous individuals.
Elsewhere in this Blog, you can read an article on protecting your children on the Internet and download free software to help you do this.
Click here: “Keep Your Kids Safe With Free Parental Control Bar”.
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