Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Avian flu-themed computer Trojan horses

A couple of times I have raised the issue whether one could or should consider a computer virus "alive" in the same sense as the bird flu virus. Whatever the answer, the analogy is good enough for some crackers (the proper terminology for malicious hackers).

A new PC Trojan horse (Naiva.A) is circulating as a Word document with subject lines like "Outbreak in North America" or "What is avian bird flu?"
The Naiva.A Trojan horse uses two Word macros to run and install malicious code on the user's computer. The first malicious script enables the Trojan to modify, create, and delete files on the infected computer. The second malicious script installs Ranky.FY on the infected computer. Ranky.FY gives hackers remote access and control of the infected computer. (Kathleen Tuggle on bellaonline)
Technically, a Trojan isn't a virus but a program that carries out actions on your computer that allows it or someone else to take control. Viruses are also programs, but they act destructively, destroying files or causing other harmful effects.

If you want the nasty details on these avian-flu themed Trojans, you can find them at the Panda Software website: Naiva.A Trojan here, Ranky.FY here.

On the other hand, if you have a Mac or are on Linux . . . never mind.