By taking advantage of the popularity of the Internet among young users, virus programmers are making use of lures such as videogames and free screensavers to trick careless young Internet surfers.
Some of the most common decoys used by malicious code programmers include “supposed’ downloads of the latest videogames or “cool’ options (screen savers, desktop themes etc) that target the younger generation. Examples include:
– W32/Kazoa spreads through the file-sharing program Kazaa. It uses the names of popular computer games, movies or music files to trick the user into opening the file carrying the worm.
– W32/Zoek spreads by sending messages with the subject heading “Maxima Screensaver!” and lures users to visit a website where they can download free screensavers. When users enter the site, they are actually downloading malicious code.
– Freedesktop infiltrates systems using a fake Internet address “w w w.freedesktopthemes.com”. Under this disguise, it tries to trick users into believing that they have received a web address from which they can download desktop themes. However, if the user runs the attached file, Freedesktop will send itself out to every entry it finds in the Windows and any mail program’s address books. Moreover, the worm looks for the default mail server in order to connect to it directly and send a mass e-mail.
– BAT/Newo and WorldCup (VBS/Chick.F) spread by e-mail, this worm sends messages about the World Cup in Korea and Japan.
These malicious codes target young user – who are spending more and more time connected to the Internet, without using the proper safety measures. User negligence can lead to costly mistakes, which means that teaching youngsters to follow safe Internet practices (like rejecting unsolicited files in chats, or not downloading programs from unknown sources), is a necessary step to ensuring system security. In this way, they can continue to enjoy all the opportunities that the Internet provides without running unnecessary risks.