CNN News Alert Could Be Email Worm

    January 21, 2005

Emails with CNN Breaking News as the subject may be infected with a malicious worm. The virus community has created the Crowt-A worm, a file that arrives attached to contaminated mailings.

The trickiness of this particular worm is that the subject line of infected emails changes to match the current headline at, successfully mimicking CNN news alerts. Of course, the difference between the two is the presence of an attachment. Most news alerts are merely text or html mailings without any extra files included.

According to Sophos, Crowt-A also installs a backdoor Trojan function. This attempts to log keystrokes on infected PCs and sends gathered data to a remote user. These Trojans are often used by hackers to gain unauthorized control of PCs and to steal personal information such as bank passwords.

“Virus writers are always looking for new tricks to entice innocent computer users into running their malicious code; this latest ploy feeds on people’s desire for the latest news,” said Carole Theriault, security consultant at Sophos. “Many people subscribe to legitimate email news updates, but the message is simple – businesses need to makes sure their anti-virus detection is constantly updated and users need to be suspicious of all unsolicited email whether it’s promising celebrity pictures or news updates.”

Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.