Virus Poses as Leaked MSN Messenger Beta

Filed under: — By Aviran Mordo @ 2:10 pm

Internet users are being warned about a new virus that poses as a leaked pre-release version of the MSN Messenger instant messenger program.

Unsuspecting Windows users who install the phony MSN Messenger Version 8 “beta” actually install an IM worm that spreads to their IM contacts, and connects their computer to a remote control “bot” network run by malicious hackers, according to F-Secure Corp., an antivirus firm based in Helsinki.

A Web site, msgr8beta.com, purports to have the leaked version of MSN Messenger. The site touts the advantages of the MSN Messenger 8, including “real-time emoticons,” and “built-in functionality with Windows Media Player 10.” Microsoft has not yet released a beta for MSN 8 to the public, although versions of the software are rumored to have been released to select customers.

However, the download offered from the Web site doesn’t contain any MSN Messenger code, said Mikko Hyppönen, manager of antivirus research at F-Secure. Instead, clicking on the Web site download links installs a virus that F-Secure calls “Virkel.F,” and causes your MSN Messenger client to send download links for the malicious Web site to the person’s IM contacts. Behind the scene, Virkel.F connects infected machines to a remote “botnet” server that can be used to issue commands or transfer malicious programs to the infected host, he said.

Source: eWeek


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