By David Ringstrom
A virulent new e-mail threat is causing significant problems for large businesses and individuals. The infected e-mail messages entice recipients to click on a hyperlink to either a PDF or Windows Media (WMF) file. Doing so allows a worm to simultaneously exploit an infected user’s e-mail address book and attempt to disable the user's antivirus software.
The new virus, commonly referred to as “Here You Have,” is known by several technical names:
As an aside, the phrase “Here You Have” is a retread from the “Anna Kournikova” virus that made the rounds in 2001.
According to US-CERT, the subject lines typically read “Here you have” or “JustForYou” and includes a link to a PDF file or Windows Media (WMF) file. Users that click the link are directed to a malicious Web site that will prompt them to download and install a screensaver (.scr) file. In turn, installing this file infects the computer with an e-mail worm that distributes itself to every contact in the user’s e-mail address book. The virus also attempts to stop and delete the user security software.
Computer security firm McAfee confirmed the e-mail messages in question take the following form:
This is The Document I told you about,you can find it Here.
Please check it and reply as soon as possible.
In other cases, the e-mail message takes this form:
This is The Free Dowload Sex Movies,you can find it Here.
Enjoy Your Time.
In addition to propagating through e-mail, McAfee reports that the virus also spreads through accessible remote machines, mapped drives, and removable media via Autorun replication.
Major antivirus firms have already provided removal tools or instructions:
If your computer is affected, only rely on removal tools and instructions from well-known companies. Enterprising malware authors often capitalize on outbreaks by creating and distributing free or paid “removal” tools that can do more harm than good.
In general, ensure that your antivirus software is up-to-date, and never click on links in unsolicited or suspicious e-mail - even from people that you know - no matter how enticing it may appear. No matter how legitimate a hyperlink in an e-mail appears, it’s easy for malware authors to set up instant redirects to other sites that can immediately infect your computer.
If you don’t already have antivirus software installed, consider the free Microsoft Security Essentials application.
Read more articles by David Ringstrom.
About the author:
David H. Ringstrom, CPA heads up Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based software and database consulting firm providing training and consulting services nationwide. Contact David at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter. David speaks at conferences about Microsoft Excel, and presents webcasts for several CPE providers, including AccountingWEB partner CPE Link.