[ISN] First MSN Messenger virus

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Mon Apr 30 2001 - 20:16:00 PDT

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    By: John Leyden
    Posted: 30/04/2001 at 13:51 GMT
    The first known virus that spreads by MSN's Messenger Service
    application has been discovered.
    W32/Hello, an Internet worm that affects Windows machines, arrives via
    MSN Messenger as a file called Hello.exe.
    If a user clicks on the file, which is actually a Visual Basic 5
    application, the worm creates a shortcut, with no name or icon, in the
    Windows Start-up folder. It will then attempt to send a copy of itself
    along with the message "i have a file for u. its real funny", to
    people on the contact list of an infected user's machine.
    If MSN Messenger is not installed on the machine in the expected
    directory the worm will crash, displaying the message "Run-time Error
    '91'. Object variable or With block variable not set."
    Jack Clark, European product manager at Network Associates, played
    down the risk of the worm, which he described as low risk because it
    is neither spreading rapidly nor capable of doing much damage. He said
    the importance of the Hello worm was as an early warning that users
    should be careful of instant messaging applications, which could
    become a vector for the spread of malicious code.
    "The Hello worm highlights the fact that if a service becomes
    prolific, virus authors will target it," said Clark, who added that
    since corporate firewalls commonly block instant messenger the issue
    mainly affects consumers.
    Antivirus vendors are in the process of updating their software to
    deal with the virus and, in most cases, the necessary protection is
    already in place. Users are also advised to apply the principles of
    safe computing and to be careful about which programs they allow to
    install themselves on their machines.
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