Serious new Internet threat

By | Monday, June 28, 2004 at 5:35 am

Internet security companies and cybersecurity experts in the federal government are warning computer users to guard against a new online attack that can affect PCs running the Windows operating system. Specifically, the INTERNET EXPLORER web browser. What makes this latest threat particularly scary is that computers can be affected just by visiting a Web site that has been compromised by hackers. As I stated before–numerous times–don’t use Internet Explorer!

Many popular websites were hit, although specific site names were not released. They are being patched quickly though. A couple of the sites we DO know were infected were Kelley Blue Book’s site and one other medical site, but those are now patched as well.

Norton Antivirus and all of the other popular and frequently-updated antivirus programs already detect this threat and catch it before you’re infected, so make sure your antivirus program is updated! What this infection does is install a trojan on your computer which grabs all of your keystrokes (logins, passwords, etc.) and tries to transmit it back to a russian website. Many ISPs have already blocked traffic being sent from their customers to this site. I wish they’d also release the list of ISPs that took this action–I certainly hope MINE did–It would certainly give them points in MY book.

Update: One important factor I failed to mention above: This latest worm only infects Microsoft servers (go figure), so don’t worry about our website being infected, since it is Linux/Apache-based. And visiting these infected sites can still harm you if you’re using Internet Explorer. Also, I heard this evening that the Russian website that this worm sends its data back to has now been shut down.