Password-Stealing 'Trojan' Virus Plagues AOL Users

Anti-virus company McAfee.com Corp. is warning AOL users to be on the lookout for a number of password-swiping programs that are making the rounds attached to e-mail messages.

McAfee said it has logged an increasing number of such "Trojan" programs among AOL users over the last 30 days. The worst of the bunch has been labeled "APStrojan.qa" and attempts to steal account names and passwords from users of versions 4 and 5 of AOL's software. It then attempts to forward that information to a destination outside the AOL network, the company said. The software then attempts to replicate itself by sending copies of its malicious Visual Basic code to contacts on the AOL user's "buddy" list.

APStrojan may arrive as an e-mail attachment with the file name "mine.zip" and could be about 77,855 bytes. The subject of the e-mail message frequently says "hey you," and the text within the message may say: "hey i finally got my pics scanned...theres like 5 or 6 of them...so just download it and unzip it..and for you people who don't know how to then scroll down...tell me what you think of my pics ok?"

The message them tells users how to unzip the archived file, a move that would make the program ready to run should a user click on the extracted code. Users who receive such a message should delete it and the attachment.

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