Dec 23rd, 2005

There is a new Grinch which has been unleashed on the web with Christmas just being a few days away. There is currently a 'Santa Claus worm' which is targeting the users of MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and AOL Instant Messenger. The program reportedly lures unsuspecting computer users into downloading a Christmas Santa Claus file and running it.

The worm, IM.GiftCom.All, tricks the victim into believing that one of their online buddies has messaged them with a link to a Santa Claus file. If the file is downloaded onto the computer a Santa Claus image appears on the monitor and the file also installs a rootkit on user systems.

These rootkits are designed in a way that they are not detected by security applications and can cause considerable damage to the victim’s machine. The worm then targets the other buddies on the victim’s IM applications to replicate itself. This information was released by the maker of security applications for Instant Messengers, IMlogic. IMlogic has labeled this worm as a “medium” security threat : “This worm is a medium threat in terms of its distribution, but in terms of the damage it can create, it’s a more severe threat. It’s not a very happy delivery”.