If you need another reason to think open source: New program attacks Microsoft's AntiSpyware

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 02/10/2005 - 21:25.

Much to think about in this posting - how much of the world hates Microsoft and goes to great lengths to bring them down, how dangerous hacking makes computing, how vulnerable your computer and data are, how dangerous are current on-line banking practices, and how badly the world needs other modeals to address all of this. Solutions are all at hand - first, consider the extent of all the problems...

New program attacks Microsoft's AntiSpyware

By Scarlet Pruitt

One month after Microsoft Corp. released a beta version of its new
antispyware software, security researchers at Sophos PLC say they have
detected the first malware program that seeks to attack it.

The program, named BankAsh-A, tries to disable
Microsoft AntiSpyware and delete all files within its folder, Sophos
said. It also tries to steal users' banking passwords by installing a
keystroke logger that records information typed into online banking
sites, according to the antivirus firm.

The program appears to targets users of U.K. online banks
Barclays Bank PLC, Cahoot, Halifax PLC, HSBC Bank PLC, Lloyds TSB Bank
PLC, Nationwide, NatWest, and Smile, Sophos said

While there are a number of malware programs that attempt to
steal banking passwords this one is interesting because it seems to
single out Microsoft's antispyware software for attack, said Sophos
senior technology consultant Graham Cluley. AntiSpyware is designed to
protect Windows users from spyware, or programs that surreptitiously
monitor computer users' actions, and other malicious programs.

Sophos was first made aware of the program Wednesday morning,
Cluley said. Although the researchers have only seen a handful of
incidents of the program "in the wild" -- out on the Internet -- the
speed in which hackers targeted Microsoft's AntiSpyware software is
concerning, Cluley said.

The Redmond, Washington, software maker began offering the beta
of AntiSpyware in early January, via free download from its Web site.

Sophos advised Internet users not to download unknown files and
to make sure their antivirus software is updated to protect against
attack. Microsoft representatives weren't immediately available to
comment on the threat Thursday.


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