Break the Chain Patches? We Don't Need No Stinking Patches!

Created 9/30/2003 (9/30/2003) Some viruses are not only stunning examples of hacking and reverse engineering, they also demonstrate a phenomenon known as "social engineering," or preying on the inexperience of users to help their spread.


FROM: "Microsoft"
SUBJECT: Use this patch immediately !

Dear friend , use this Internet Explorer patch now!
There are dangerous virus in the Internet now!
More than 500.000 already infected!

patch.exe (Binary attachment)


Another version comes cleverly formatted as an official-looking Microsoft web page and contains more descriptive text:


An official-looking notice


These are not official notices from Microsoft (the poor grammar and spelling alone should have been red flags). In fact, rather than being a software patch to prevent the spread of viruses into and by your computer, the attachment is actually infected with a virus. - free web hosting. Free hosting with no banners.
The Swen.A worm was unleashed on the Internet in mid-september, 2003. It exploits a security hole in Microsoft's Internet products to infect your PC and send copies of itself to others. It also propagates via peer-to-peer file sharing networks, Internet relay chat and news groups.

Its delivery method is particularly sinister. The official-looking notice, coupled with almost constant attention by the media to security flaws in Microsoft products, lead many otherwise skeptical people to believe this is really a patch.

The bottom line, however, is that Microsoft does not distribute software patches in this manner. They do have a patch that will prevent Swen-type infections, but you'll have to visit their Windows Update web site to get it - they won't send it to you.

The best way to keep viruses and worms out of your computer is to install anti-virus software and keep it updated regularly. Consult the references below for updates and instructions from the most popular packages (or to purchase a package, if you don't have one). Read "Protecting Your PC" in the Chain-Breaker's Library for more steps you can take to prevent unwanted intrusions on your data.

What Do You Think?

Category: Virus Warning
References: Microsoft Security Bulletin (MS01-020), Trend Micro, McAfee, Symantec (Norton), eTrust Antivirus, Sophos

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