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Bring in the New Year with a new Storm variant

What a generous way to bring in the new year. The Storm/Peacomm gang, the same group whose activities we presented at VB2007 and posted about previously, has not disappeared. The holidays brought a round of Christmas-themed spam, complete with a simple link to a njinx servers and the promise of a friendly xmas related message. In the past couple of days, they have turned towards a new year theme:
“Happy New Year!
Your download should begin shortly. If your download does not start in approximately 15 seconds, you can click here to launch the download and then press Run. Enjoy!”

Consistent with their past attacks, the executable name is themed as well. We have seen “happynewyear2008.exe”, “happy_2008.exe” located on servers in Poland and multiple sites around the world. But in a small departure from using just unregistered ip addresses, these malware serving web hosts are now registered with cute, related DNS .com domains, like “newyearwithluv” or “hellosanta”. The gang broke another trend and flashy graphics on the sites are not present either.

We are seeing a strong uptick in the number of users actually running these files (happy-2008.exe, happynewyear2008.exe, happy_2008.exe, happy_2008.exe, happynewyear.exe) on their systems. Please exercise caution when visiting links that were sent to you, update all of your system patches at the Microsoft Update site, and if using Quicktime or Firefox, update them as well.

Cheers to secure computing and happy New Year!

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