Malware disguised as New Year's greeting
Since last night, a new variant of the Warezov trojan is being distributed via e-mail. The e-mail, which is being sent in large numbers, wishes the recipient a Happy New Year and contains an attachment called either postcard.exe or postcard.zip. If the attachment is unwittingly opened, the malware downloads a module from the internet and can infect all standard Windows versions.
Anti-virus software producer Ikarus and the Internet Storm Center have issued warnings regarding this trojan. According to Ikarus, at least 30,000 e-mails containing the malware have been sent since the early hours of this morning and it represents one of the largest virus outbreaks of the year. To date, the, in some cases very successful, Warezov variants have been distributed in much smaller numbers, especially in the early hours. The trojan is not recognised by all virus scanners. Users should therefore exercise extreme caution with regard to e-mail attachments.
According to initial analyses, the trojan misuses infected computers to send spam - just as Christmas saw a substantial reduction in the number of spam-sending computers in botnets, as a result of the replacement of old computers with new PCs.