Another Worm Hits Online Tsunami Relief

Another worm has emerged in the wild, preying on the generosity of those
trying to donate to the Tsunami relief effort.

Multiple security firms, including McAfee, TrendMicro, Sophos and
Symantec, today are reporting the discovery of the worm.
McAfee and
Symantec
call it [email protected],
Trend Micro
calls it WORM_ZAR.A and Sophos
calls it W32/VBSun-A.

The worm usually has the subject line “Tsunami
Donation! Please help” and includes an attachment named tsunami.exe. When
clicked, the attachment delivers its payload, which is a Denial of Service (DoS)
attack on the German domain www.hacksector.de.

The worm is written in Visual Basic and uses MAPI to
propagate itself by sending an e-mail to all addressed that are contained
in a Microsoft Outlook address book. It affects Windows 2000, 95,
98, Me, NT, Server 2003 and XP.

Symantec, McAfee and TrendMicro have given the worm a low-risk rating,
and have noted that the latest virus definition updates to their products
will detect and remove the parasite.

“Duping innocent users into believing that they may be helping the
tsunami disaster aid efforts shows hackers stooping to a new low,” said
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos in a statement.
“This gruesome insensitivity is a despicable ploy to get curious computer
users to run malicious code on their computers. Everyone should be wary of
unsolicited email attachments, and visit the established charity websites
instead if they wish to assist those suffering as a result of the
disaster.”

The FBI
warned
at the beginning of January to be wary of Internet scams
relating to the tsunami disaster. In a statement, the bureau detailed
numerous schemes ranging from phishing schemes directing potential donors
to phony tsunami relief Web sites to other malicious forms of fraud.

Online donations have been a tremendous boon to the relief effort and
were
recommended
by President Bush as a way for Americans to make their
donations. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, an online newspaper geared toward
the nonprofit sector, much of the $406 million raised as of the middle of last week
for tsunami relief in the United States came from online donations.

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