Image-stealing malware might lead to blackmailing attempts

Information-stealing malware targeting random computer users is usually geared towards stealing passwords and financial information by logging pressed keys and taking screenshots.

But every now and then there “specialized” malware pops up, like the one recently detected by Trend Micro researchers.

Dubbed “PixSteal”, this particular Trojan opens a hidden command line and copies all JPG, JPEG, and DMP files it can find on drives C, D, and E of the affected system to the C drive. From there, it sends the copies to a remote FTP server.

“Information theft routines have been mostly limited to information that are in text form, thus this malware poses a whole new different risk for users,” Trend Micro warns.

“Users typically rely on photos for storing information, both personal and work-related, so the risk of information leakage is very high. Collected photos can be used for identity theft, blackmail, or can even be used in future targeted attacks.”

Unfortunately, the researchers don’t say what infection vector is used by the criminals behind this Trojan, but you can be sure that keeping your software updated and not opening attachments or following links from unsolicited emails and messages is a good idea.

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