Dancing Skeletons are Latest Storm Botnet Trick

 
 
By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2007-10-31
 
 
 
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.

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