Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Phishing Scam Targets Windows Update

Filed under
Microsoft
Security

A phishing scam emulating the Windows Update Service hit Australia yesterday, designed to not only emulate the update page perfectly, but circumvent current antivirus, spyware and adware programs.

The spam e-mail directs users to a page that pulls graphics from the Microsoft.com Web site and then recreates the page asking users to download a Windows update that is actually a malicious .exe file.

Director of SurfControl, Charles Heunemann, said the company discovered the virus late last night and that current heuristics and signatures used by core antivirus vendors are not picking up the malicious code.

"We are still trying to get to the bottom of it," Heunemann said.

"It is not a malicious attack for network resources but appears to send a message to the Internet advertising itself as a zombie machine - we think the .exe file pulls other code to turn the machine into a spamming server.

"The actual e-mail looks like a Microsoft e-mail but I don't think it is the practice for Microsoft to ask users to update their operating system by launching a link from an e-mail."

The virus, titled Wupdate-20050401, installs an executable file into the Windows directory and adds a startup service. When it is running the program takes up 100 percent of the CPU power, controlling the CPU by forcing it to perform continuous processes.

Microsoft security product manager Ben English said this is just one of many scams they are currently monitoring, adding that it is not unique.

"There are effective defences against these types of scams and we advise users to follow some simple guidelines," English said.

"Microsoft is aware of the SurfControl notice regarding the spoofing scam of Windows update and our advice to customers remains the same.

"Microsoft never attaches software updates to our security e-mail notifications; we never send notices about security updates or incidents until after we publish information about them on our Web site and if you suspect that an e-mail message is not legitimate, do not click any hyperlinks within it."

Sophos' Asia Pacific head of technology, Paul Ducklin, was aware of the program in question and said despite all the technology in the world, education and informed decisions by users will always be the best resort to stopping malware.

"Even if all other defences are down, with Trojan malware if a person doesn't click on it, it won't work - they all involve, to some extent, collaboration with users," Ducklin said.

"Three ways to block them include having software to prevent a suspicious program, using programs at the gateway to block .exe files and of course user education and information."

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: OSS

OSS in the Back End

  • Open Source NFV Part Four: Open Source MANO
    Defined in ETSI ISG NFV architecture, MANO (Management and Network Orchestration) is a layer — a combination of multiple functional entities — that manages and orchestrates the cloud infrastructure, resources and services. It is comprised of, mainly, three different entities — NFV Orchestrator, VNF Manager and Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM). The figure below highlights the MANO part of the ETSI NFV architecture.
  • After the hype: Where containers make sense for IT organizations
    Container software and its related technologies are on fire, winning the hearts and minds of thousands of developers and catching the attention of hundreds of enterprises, as evidenced by the huge number of attendees at this week’s DockerCon 2016 event. The big tech companies are going all in. Google, IBM, Microsoft and many others were out in full force at DockerCon, scrambling to demonstrate how they’re investing in and supporting containers. Recent surveys indicate that container adoption is surging, with legions of users reporting they’re ready to take the next step and move from testing to production. Such is the popularity of containers that SiliconANGLE founder and theCUBE host John Furrier was prompted to proclaim that, thanks to containers, “DevOps is now mainstream.” That will change the game for those who invest in containers while causing “a world of hurt” for those who have yet to adapt, Furrier said.
  • Is Apstra SDN? Same idea, different angle
    The company’s product, called Apstra Operating System (AOS), takes policies based on the enterprise’s intent and automatically translates them into settings on network devices from multiple vendors. When the IT department wants to add a new component to the data center, AOS is designed to figure out what needed changes would flow from that addition and carry them out. The distributed OS is vendor-agnostic. It will work with devices from Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Juniper Networks, Cumulus Networks, the Open Compute Project and others.
  • MapR Launches New Partner Program for Open Source Data Analytics
    Converged data vendor MapR has launched a new global partner program for resellers and distributors to leverage the company's integrated data storage, processing and analytics platform.
  • A Seamless Monitoring System for Apache Mesos Clusters
  • All Marathons Need a Runner. Introducing Pheidippides
    Activision Publishing, a computer games publisher, uses a Mesos-based platform to manage vast quantities of data collected from players to automate much of the gameplay behavior. To address a critical configuration management problem, James Humphrey and John Dennison built a rather elegant solution that puts all configurations in a single place, and named it Pheidippides.
  • New Tools and Techniques for Managing and Monitoring Mesos
    The platform includes a large number of tools including Logstash, Elasticsearch, InfluxDB, and Kibana.
  • BlueData Can Run Hadoop on AWS, Leave Data on Premises
    We've been watching the Big Data space pick up momentum this year, and Big Data as a Service is one of the most interesting new branches of this trend to follow. In a new development in this space, BlueData, provider of a leading Big-Data-as-a-Service software platform, has announced that the enterprise edition of its BlueData EPIC software will run on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other public clouds. Essentially, users can now run their cloud and computing applications and services in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) instance while keeping data on-premises, which is required for some companies in the European Union.

today's howtos

Industrial SBC builds on Raspberry Pi Compute Module

On Kickstarter, a “MyPi” industrial SBC using the RPi Compute Module offers a mini-PCIe slot, serial port, wide-range power, and modular expansion. You might wonder why in 2016 someone would introduce a sandwich-style single board computer built around the aging, ARM11 based COM version of the original Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi Compute Module. First off, there are still plenty of industrial applications that don’t need much CPU horsepower, and second, the Compute Module is still the only COM based on Raspberry Pi hardware, although the cheaper, somewhat COM-like Raspberry Pi Zero, which has the same 700MHz processor, comes close. Read more