While one of the sneakiest viruses to date began spreading rapidly across the Internet at the weekend, antivirus software vendor Panda Software detected a Trojan that exploits, you guessed it, another Windows vulnerability. Its actions leave affected computers at the mercy of hackers, the company warns.
The Trojan Autorooter (the term is based on security lingo for successfully cracking and gaining privileged access to a machine) is hidden in a file called WORM.EXE, which we have to admit, is a bit of a giveaway.
As the Trojan is incapable of spreading by itself, the file can reach computers through a variety of means: e-mail messages sent by malevolent users, inside files downloaded from the Internet or even through plain old floppy disks.
When it is run, Autorooter creates a couple files, including RPC.EXE, which exploits the operating system vulnerability by opening the communication port 57005 and logging on with the same privileges as the user of the pc. At the same time, it downloads a file called LOLX.EXE, aimed at opening a backdoor in the computer.
After that, the affected PC is left at the mercy of malicious users, who are able to gain remote control of the computer through the port created and carry out all kinds of wicked procedures, including stealing or destroying the data.
The Windows vulnerability, which Microsoft has classified 'critical', affects systems with Windows NT, 2000, XP, and Server 2003. ®