Bin Laden - Schwarzenegger Virus Terrorizes the Internet

( [email protected] ) Jul 26, 2004 10:33 AM EDT

Virus writers have recently tried to lure computer users into downloading a virus from email messages with deceiving subject fields regarding Osama bin Laden's "suicide." The virus authors have moved from this bait to trying the same trick with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Last Friday VXers seeded multiple Usenet groups with messages saying Osama bin had killed himself, pointing users towards "photographs" illustrating the momentous news. In reality these images offered only the Hackarmy Trojan. The Trojan has been around for some months and the Usenet trick gives the aging malware a second lease of life.

Over the weekend messages using the same template, but referring to the supposed death of California's Governor began appearing all over Usenet. The messages invited users to download a zip file containing a "screensaver" ontaminated with the Hackarmy Trojan.

Once the file is opened, it installs a Trojan horse that can effectively recruit church computers into the author's zombie army, which can then be used to distribute spam or launch DDoS attacks.

The malicious code has successfully been taken offline, but users are still advised to be cautious. More copycats can be expected as the trick is easy to engineer.