Christmas computer virus delivers coal to e-mail inboxes
December 26, 2007
Computer experts are warning users to be cautious when opening e-mails that promise holiday cheer after witnessing the resurgence of an old virus that litters your contact list with a glut of spam e-mails, tech blog Ars Technica says.
Earlier this year, the Storm Worm gave IT departments around the world countless headaches after millions of computers were infected after users clicked a link inside their e-mails that redirects them to a website that downloads malicious software. While anti-virus programs such as Norton Anti-Virus and Symantec have corralled the virus, the upcoming holiday season has given computer hackers a prime opportunity to capitalize on users already used to opening e-mails filled with holiday messages.
E-mail subjects such as "The Perfect Christmas," "Time for a little Christmas Cheer," “Mrs. Clause Is Out Tonight!” and “The Twelve Girls Of Christmas” contain a link to a website (merrychristmasdude dot com) that will try to install a video codec onto your computer, but instead will connect to a server located in Russia that will give the virus instructions to start spamming your friends, family and colleagues.
Aside from ensuring that your anti-virus software is up-to-date, Russ MCree at HolisticInfoSec.org has a very detailed technical analysis of the Storm Worm while the SANS Internet Storm Center can instruct IT managers how to secure their networks.