Malaysian e-mail virus exploits terrorism fears

Tuesday, 30 December 2003, 2:07 PM EST

Potential victims receive a message labeled "Urgent message to all citizens of Malaysia" that claims to warn of five planned terrorist attacks, with the times and places supposedly leaked by an anonymous Malaysian government source. The e-mail says it seeks to minimize the number of terrorist victims by spreading the information on the planned attacks.

The text of the e-mail contains a link that claims to connect to a Web site with important information regarding the supposed attacks. However, the Malaysian Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT) said clicking the link actually triggers the installation of a virus, which attempts to connect to three different Internet hosts. MyCERT's Web site said the virus was similar to the Backdoor.Tofger Trojan horse reported in early December 2003.

MyCERT also said, according to The Star, that the three Internet hosts to which the virus attempts to connect could have had their security compromised already. MyCERT has already notified the three hosts' system administrators.

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