Yesterday, we started to receive reports of emails pretending to carry links to holiday cards. These emails contain a link that points to a file named ecard.exe. Of course, this executable is not a seasonal holiday card but malware. The reason this wave of malware has attracted our attention is that it is very similar to the Storm Worm attacks we were seeing last year.
Although this attack uses fast-flux to make it harder to trace its web servers and a redirection page very similar to those used by Storm last year, this is not the resurrection of the Storm botnet. Analysis of the binary proves it to be different to Storm. It was programmed using a different programming language and includes different functionalities. This malware, detected as a variant of Win32/Waledac by ESET Antivirus, has no peer-to-peer capabilities and uses an open-source packer instead of the custom packers used by Storm. Also, the Waledac threat has cryptographic capabilities that were not present in Storm.
What we are observing today is proof that malware authors are learning from each other’s errors and successes. After seeing that Storm was able to infect thousands of systems last year with Christmas-related social engineering, the criminals behind other malware families are now trying to emulate that success.
Thanks Paul for sharing ... Additional info noted below
Malware e-card spam attacks increase Trend is reporting a significant increase in malicious e-cards circulating in email. Users should avoid all e-cards except those from truly legitimate sources. Keeping AV protection up-to-date is also beneficial.
QUOTE: A significant amount of e-card spam has flooded inboxes recently, taking advantage of the upcoming holiday season. Spam mails contain holiday greetings and a short message informing users that they have received an e-card from someone. Also in the email is an embedded URL link where the recipient can view or claim their e-card.
SUBJECT LINES TO AVOID: A Christmas card from a friend A special card just for you Christmas card for you Christmas Ecard Notification Christmas Ecard Special Delivery Christmas greetings e-card is waiting for you Christmas greetings for you Christmas greetings from your friend Christmas Wishes! Greeting for you! Happy Christmas! Have a warm an lovely Christmas! I made an Ecard for U! I sent you the ecard Joyful Christmas! Merry Christmas 2009! Merry Christmas card for you! Merry Christmas e-card is waiting for you Merry Christmas greetings for you Merry Christmas ‘N Happy New Year! Merry Christmas To You! Merry Christmas wishes just for you Merry Christmas! Merry Xmas! Warmest Wishes For Christmas! Wish You A Merry Christmas! Xmas card for you Xmas card is waiting for you You have a Christmas Greeting! You have a greeting card You Have An E-card Waiting For You! You have received a Christmas E-card You have received a Christmas greetings card You have received an E-card You Received an Ecard. You’ve got a Christmas E-card You’ve got a Christmas greetings card You’ve got a Merry Christmas E-card You’ve got a Merry Christmas greeting card You’ve got a Xmas e-card You’ve got an e-card