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The Spam Threat: Dangerous Tackles in World Cup Warm Ups

A few days from now, one of the world’s most anticipated and much loved sporting event will be kicked off in Germany. A large number of people around the globe will be logged onto the Internet for the coming weeks to grab news and tidbits about their favorite teams and playmakers and this frenzy will make a good hunting ground for hackers and spammers.

A number of spams and trojans are on the prowl to con users by linking them up with malicious Internet sites that pose as providers of latest World Cup online scores and results. Experts at Sophos have already detected two trojans that are trying to cash in on the World Cup fever.

Dropper-KG is said to be the most recent threat that is trying to break the defenses of naïve online soccer fans. This Trojan is reported to present itself as a legitimate software installer that includes a copied version of a freeware, World Cup results-tracking spreadsheet. Once this Trojan is downloaded into a system, it automatically starts dropping malware. Aliases of this Trojan are:  

Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Small.be, Backdoor.Haxdoor.Jand TROJ_HAXDOOR.BM  

Sophos had earlier found a new worm which was being circulated by a German e-mail with the title "Fussball Weltmeisterschaft 2006 in Deutschland" (2006 World Cup Soccer Tournament in ) and the link "googlebook.exe." The link to the self-extracting Excel file claims to contain the game plan for the soccer tournament. The Baden-Württemberg State Bureau of Criminal Investigation (LKA) says that once the link is accessed, it installs a Trojan horse on the user’s PC. Though the mail is in German, there are high chances of hackers switching to other languages to increase their pool of potential victims.  

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos, says that the malware authors will capitalize on the euphoria of football fans around the world by luring them with spam.  

History shows that cyber criminals have regularly taken advantage of World Cup competitions to promote their wares. Last year theSober-N worm trapped gullible users into opening an infectious email attachment by offering tickets for the 2006 tournament. In 2002, the Chick-F virus tried to exploit workers desperate to know the latest scores from World Cup games in South Korea and Japan.

During the 1998 edition another football-inspired virus obscurely called ZMK-J lured infected victims to predict the winner and the wrong prediction triggered a data wiping payload on compromised Windows PCs.  

Since most of the fans will be accessing the Internet from their workplaces, it is recommended that the companies protect their email against virus, spy ware and spam threats and secure their desktops and servers with automatically updated anti-virus software.  

Related article: THE SPAM MAFIA

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