Hackers Push Trojan With Promises of 'Nude Angelina Jolie' Pics - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Infrastructure

Hackers Push Trojan With Promises of 'Nude Angelina Jolie' Pics

Malware writers in September were sending out waves of spam in an attempt to infect computers with the Pushdo Trojan horse by offering pictures of naked female celebrities.

An e-mail campaign that pushed out fraudulent and malicious messages promising nude pictures of actress Angelina Jolie accounted for four out of five infected spam messages last month.

That's according to researchers from security company Sophos, who blamed September's rise in e-mail-borne malicious threats on this coordinated campaign.

According to Sophos, malware writers were sending out waves of spam in an attempt to infect computers with the Pushdo Trojan horse. The coordinated campaign was in full force in the first half of September and then slowed a little as the month went on. The e-mails, which offer up naked pictures of Hollywood actresses like Angelina Jolie and Halle Berry, carry a malicious payload designed to give criminal hackers control over infected PCs, Sophos noted in an online report.

Sophos reported that during a single 24-hour period in the last week of September, the Pushdo Trojan accounted for almost four in every five infected emails.

"The Pushdo Trojan has been spammed out every Wednesday since March 2007 using a variety of enticing disguises, but lately, the cyber criminals have stepped up a gear and begun to spam innocent computer users at any time and on any day of the week," said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos, in a statement. "The trick of tempting users with scantily clad pictures of hot-looking girls is as old as the hills, but people still fall for it. This outbreak underlines that hackers have not turned their backs on using e-mail as a vector for attack. It's essential that companies and individuals alike protect their gateways and inboxes with secure defenses, and think before they open unsolicited e-mails."

Sophos also reported that in September, one in every 833 e-mails were carrying malicious attachments, compared to 1 in every 1,000 during August.

The company lists the top five e-mail threats for September as: Netsky, account for 29.90% of all reports; Pushdo with 27.4%; Mytob with 9.2%; Zafi with 8.3%, and Frame with 6%.

In April, hackers launched a spam campaign to take advantage of a critical .ANI vulnerability. To lure users in, they sent out a flurry of e-mails promising nude pictures of pop star Britney Spears if they follow the link to a Web site.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Commentary
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
News
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
Slideshows
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Video
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Slideshows
Flash Poll