Sexy pics push Skype malware

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Apr 17, 2007

Messaging attack hides behind photo of girl in stilettos.

More malware has been reported spreading through the Skype API, sending links to itself to addresses gathered from infected machines and tweaking local settings to block further contacts via the system. The messages sent via the Skype messaging network claim to link to sexy pictures, and in fact display a photo of a scantily-clad woman while downloading and installation silently occurs in the background.

The attack, generally called 'Pykse' thanks to the vector used, has been widely referred to as a worm despite requiring user interaction to initiate the download of trojans, which in turn install the message-sending infection to its new victim.

Once running locally, Pykse sets up registry entries and browser helper objects to ensure it keeps running on reboot, sets the user's Skype status to 'Do Not Disturb' so that they will not be alerted to incoming messages, and sends links to itself on to addresses found locally. It also visits several web addresses, mostly showing ethnographic information on Africa stolen from a legitimate site, many of which also carry hidden iframes linking to advertising sites, income from which is speculated to be the motivation behind the malware.

Further details of the attack, including screenshots, can be found at F-Secure, who have tastefully blurred out the artwork used, or at Sophos, who haven't. More technical analysis is here or here.

Posted on 17 April 2007 by Virus Bulletin

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