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February 12, 2009, 8:11 am
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from machine to machine using a variety of infection techniques, including
the poisoning of webservers, which then go on to contaminate visitors.
The malware is a variation of a rapidly mutating virus alternately known as
Virut and Virux. It has long proved adept at injecting itself into
executable files, which are then able to attack uninfected machines through
network drives and USB sticks.
The variant, which Microsoft is calling Virus:Win32/Virus.BM, is also able
to infect web scripts based on languages such as PHP, ASP, and HTML. Servers
that become infected include an iframe in webpages that attempt to spread
malware to visitors.
"This catapults the possibility of spreading even farther," Trend Micro
researchers warn. "If the script files happen to be uploaded to a publicly
accessible website, any visitor to the affected sites will be led to the URL
embedded in the iframe code."
The iframe surreptitiously directs visitors to zief.pl (don't visit it
unless you're a security professional), which attempts to exploit a variety
of vulnerabilities based on the browser and other applications the user has
installed, Microsoft researchers say. Once installed, the virus injects its
code into various system processes such as explorer.exe and winlogon.exe and
hooks low-level Windows APIs to ensure it stays in memory.
The virus has also picked up some new polymorphic tricks designed to make it
harder for anti-virus programs to detect. Among other things, it uses more
than one layer of encryption, allowing its binary fingerprint to change but
to preserve its malicious payload.
Infected machines will have an IRC backdoor installed that tries to connect
to several servers using port 80. ®