December computer threats take advantage of parties

Trend Micro published the balance sheet for the threats and vulnerabilities detected throughout December. The report indicates that the attacks identified used themes related to the Christmas season, New Year’s Eve or social events reported during that month. Among the malicious codes found are New Year Storm, TROJ_PPDROP.K and BKDR HUPIGON.MER.

The first was propagated by email and consisted of a link malicious code that supposedly referred the user to a e-card where it was enough to click on the executable file to install a variant of Strom. TROJ_PPDROP.K was propagated in a message of email common slideshow PowerPoint with the name MerryChristmas.pps. However, due to a vulnerability in Office, «users could open, download and run this file, detected as a BKDR_AGENT.ADGS threat», explains the company.

Finally, BKDR HUPIGON.MER, which downloaded the virus and established connections with a server, was able to remotely control the affected systems using a tip site.

In the same period, the company detected other threats on the Web, including the one that took advantage of the murder of Benazir Bhutto to propagate malware. At stake are the pages that claimed to contain videos of the death of the Pakistani opposition leader to entice users who, deceived, ended up downloading JS_AGENT.AEVE, carrying a variant of TROJ_SMALL.

ZLOB Trojans who try to bypass ordinary users by disguising themselves as legitimate video codes also appear on Trend Micro’s list. According to the company, these codes use «malicious search results to reach the user more quickly» and «use themes such as travel and shopping, to install the malicious code on blogs, evading the usual sites that allowed download in codecs«.

Finally, the company discloses three vulnerabilities detected during December: the exploitation of RealPlayer, which allows download of malicious files, the exploit the Google toolbar and the Japanese Ichitaro processor and the security hole in software HP that allows access to the information system and configuration of the hardware equipment.

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