Victoria’s Secret spyware attack steals usernames and passwords

Experts at SophosLabs are reminding internet users to be on their guard following the discovery of a spyware Trojan horse that displays photographs of a potential Russian lovematch while secretly stealing information.

When run on a user’s computer, the Keylog-HD Trojan horse displays a slideshow of three pictures of a young woman called “Victoria Stasova”. Accompanying the pictures is a love heart and an AOL email address.

However, while the photographs are being displayed, the malware steals keypresses and information from the infected user’s PC which could allow hackers to plunder bank accounts and commit identity theft.

“The danger is that people might think they are just looking at pictures of a Russian beauty on the lookout for love. But behind the scenes, information and keypresses – including usernames and passwords – are being secretly stolen from the PCs by hackers,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. “One of the ways in which malware like this could work is that computer users could find themselves being chatted up online by someone who they believe is a potential lovematch, and then be sent the slideshow as the virtual romance blossoms. Having found new love, victims may rush to run the slideshow with their head in the clouds, and not realise their finances are being consigned to the gutter.”

Sophos recommends that users exercise caution about which programs they choose to run on their computers, and that businesses defend their desktop and servers with automatically updated protection against viruses, spyware and spam to reduce the chances of malicious attack.

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