Koobface becoming Latin America's most dangerous worm - Eset

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Latin American division of Czech antivirus and security software developer Eset has identified Koobface as one of the most dangerous worms in Latin America, the division's technical and education manager, Cristián Borghello, told BNamericas.

A study recently published by Eset Latin America found increased presence of the worm Koobface in Latin American social networks. Koobface, which is used to set up botnets and steal passwords, spreads through messages that encourage social network users to click on a link, consequently downloading the malicious code.

Borghello said the worm started out in Facebook and has since spread to networks such as Twitter and myspace. He said most Koobface attacks have been registered in Mexico and Brazil, and that the worm is especially dangerous because of the high number of variations that exist.

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"Currently, it represents one of the most important threats on the internet because of the high number of methodologies used to deceive and the high number of social networks that it uses to spread," he said. "What is also important to note is that a new Koobace variety appears practically every day."

The Eset Latin America study also discovered threats disguised in digital certificates and cases of attacks where hackers demanded a ransom payment in exchange for the removal of malicious codes from the victim's computer.

Borghello said the latter threats are not as imminent because attacks through digital certificates are still not well-developed, while many ransom schemes in Latin America are carried out in foreign languages such as Russian.

"It is probable that, in the future, this attack will be translated into English or Spanish," he said.