Dancing Skeletons are Latest Storm Botnet Trick

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2007-10-31 Print this article Print

Halloween-themed spamming is leading users to a dancing skeleton game that installs a Trojan and gains remote access to victims' PCs.

This Halloween, do not fall for Dancing Bones, "the most amazing dancing skeleton." Spam advertising the Halloween-themed site is leading users to a dancing skeleton game that installs a Trojan, which gives crooks remote access to victims PCs. Sophos and other security firms are warning that spam bearing the following subject headers is the latest incarnation of the ecard campaign, also known as the Storm worm botnet, which has been reinventing itself time and again in the malware scene since it first showed up in January:
  • Happy Halloween
  • Dancing Bones
  • The most amazing dancing skeleton
  • Show this to the kids
  • Send this to your friends
  • Man this rocks
Sophos is reporting that the page serves malicious JavaScript (detected as Troj/JSXor-Gen) that attempts to trick users into downloading a number of infected files through a link to a "halloween.exe" file that the firm is detecting as Mal/Behav-146. Furthermore, the sites authors have been working to improve the graphics. When Sophos most recently refreshed the site on Oct. 30, it rendered as a more attractive—and hence more convincing—image. Why do we continue to click on spam? Click here to read more. Researchers also note that the malware-serving site further tortures visitors by playing the song "Boom Boom Boom Boom! " from the Vengaboys. "The Russian Business Network [a Russian ISP thats notorious for hosting illegal or shadowy businesses] has shown that there is truly no limit to their depravity," said TrendLabs Robert McArdle in a posting. Earlier in October, Sophos reported that spammers were distributing Halloween-related e-mails in an attempt to garner personal information from recipients. In those earlier spam e-mails, what Sophos called "painful" puns were used to lure targets into entering personal information in exchange for a $250 MasterCard gift card—a deal that "could raise the living dead," the spammers promised. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEKs Security Watch blog.
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel