Devices using Windows 7 as an operating system appear to be under constant attack by Malware these days. Many of the latest threats are using Social Media to worm their way in and wreck havoc according to online news sources.
The most recent attack is coming through the “Like” feature on Facebook according to the Threat Post and News from the Lab blogs. The attack comes in the form of a post that claims to be a video clip of former International Monetary Fund Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s alleged rape of a New York Hotel maid. The sleazy clip apparently infects computers with a White Trojan virus. Here’s what the clip apparently looks like so you can be on the lookout for it:
If that wasn’t bad enough the clip is apparently accompanied by what looks like a clip from a real ABC news story:
IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn Exclusive Rape Video – Black lady under attack!
IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn rape scandal. Mother of Alleged Rape Victim: Dominique Strauss-Kahn Did Not Want To Be President of France - ABC News
As you can see the bad guys who make Malware are getting more sophisticated all the time. Persons who clicked on this sick link got directed to a fake antivirus message that infected their computers with a White Trojan worm. The Sophos security web site identified this virus as Troj/Mdrop-DMN.
The Threat Encyclopedia states that this virus takes advantage of a known vulnerability in Microsoft Excel. That means it is probably trying to steal financial data such as bank account numbers. Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-014 states that is virus is capable of taking control of a system by remote code execution. Interestingly enough this virus is not new the Microsoft bulletin about it is dated March 11, 2008.
Microsoft’s Security Bulletin does contain some fixes for the holes that this virus exploits. You can download them for free from:
For a good example of what’s wrong with Facebook check out Facesnoop. This App for crooks claims to be able to hack anybody’s Facebook account in minutes. It’s available online and it is supposedly free.
Threats from Facebook
Troj/Mdrop-DMN is an old threat being delivered through a new method namely: Facebook. Since the message involves a former IMF director it is safe to assume this attack is targeting people who work in the financial industry. This would include persons whose computers could be connected to networks that contain financial data. It could spread through this message or migrate to Microsoft Excel and spread through Excel Spreadsheets and similar documents as well as on Facebook.
To make matters worse there is at least one other fake video spreading this virus in operation, this new version claims to show singer Rihanna engaged in lesbian sex. The moral of the story is a simple: never open anything that claims to be a hot or kinky video.
These Trojans, which appear to be coming out of the Eastern European nation of Lithuania, seem to be designed to get around the filters on corporate e-mail systems and networks. These will block out porn so the new threats are coming in via Facebook. Since Facebook’s security is notoriously lax it can get in. The Threat Post blog reports that Facebook’s security precautions simply don’t keep Malware out.
This means that you have to be very careful when you’re using Facebook. The bad guys know that Facebook’s security stinks so they direct their threats through it. A good way to keep yourself safe is to limit use of Facebook and don’t tell that many people about your Facebook page.
It is also a good idea to keep Facebook off of computers with sensitive data. I know some people won’t like this but Facebook’s security is lousy. It seems we hear about another attack through it every other week. If you want your network to be secure it might be a good idea to tell people to block Facebook and tell people to check it on their own computers.
Malware Attacks Increasing on Windows 7
Switching to Windows 7 may actually put your computer at greater risk for a Malware attack. A Microsoft Malware report dated May 16, 2011, noted that Malware attacks on Windows 7 are up 30%. Microsoft’s experts noted that the attacks are increasingly targeting small business which could mean that financial information is the target.
Only You Can Prevent Malware
There are a few things that you can do to prevent the attacks. One of the best is to keep your antivirus software updated and to actually use it. You should have your antivirus software scan your system at least once a month. You should also run a scan using your antivirus every time the antivirus program gets a big update. It should display this in the right hand corner of your screen when you start the computer.
Also you have the latest version of your security program. Most security programs update themselves on a regular basis but not always. Therefore it’s a good idea to occasionally should check your security program maker’s website for updates. The good security companies regularly update their products to deal with the latest threats. If you are a customer they should let you download the latest version free.
When you do run a scan, make sure the program scans everything and the scan is completed. Today’s Malware can hide anywhere so the antivirus should search everywhere. The scan should take a couple of hours but it should be completed. If the scan doesn’t finish properly repeat it.
If you are really concerned about internet security use more than one security program. Two different antivirus programs will be more likely to catch more threats. Make sure the programs don’t conflict or interfere with each other before installing them but two programs will double the protection.
Update Your Browser
Updating your browser can also prevent some Malware attacks, browsers like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla’s FireFox are regularly updated to close holes and eliminate threats. Even if you don’t use Explorer as your regular browser, updating it can help keep out some Malware. Contrary to popular belief, Microsoft does update Explorer and patch the holes in it. Google and Mozilla also update their browsers on a regular basis.
You can download the latest version of Explorer here:
The latest version of Firefox can be found here:
The latest version of Google Chrome can be found here:
Some Sites That Can Help You Keep Track of Malware Threats
The best way to keep track of the latest Malware threats is to carefully monitor news sources. Pay close attention every time you see or hear a news story about Malware or a computer virus. Then check to see if it is a threat to your system.
Some good news sources that track the growing Malware menace include:
- Threat Post a news site that contains stories about the latest security threats. It is updated daily and it does contain some interesting blogs. It also lists the latest data breaches.
- Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center does a really good job of identifying Malware threats and posting information about them. It also shows adjustments you can make to Windows to keep the bad software out.
- F-Secure, a Finnish computer security outfit, has a Weblog that does a pretty good job of tracking threats. This one’s pretty good because this company’s home of Finland is right next door to Russia – which seems to be the motherland of malware. So they get hit with the latest threats before we do. It’s also the most entertaining internet security site that I know of, and the only place where you can catch up on your malware intelligence and get a good laugh.
- Threat Encyclopedia, this page is maintained by internet security company Trend Micro and regularly updated. It contains a comprehensive listing of the latest Malware and other threats.