• Total Posts: 28058
  • Total Topics: 8057
  • Online Today: 861
  • Online Ever: 51419
  • (01. January 2010., 09:27:49)

Author Topic: Webmail-creating Trojan targets Gmail  (Read 1612 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • SCF Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 7152
  • KARMA: 291
  • Gender: Male
  • Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
    • - Samker's Computer Forum
Webmail-creating Trojan targets Gmail
« on: 21. August 2007., 20:51:21 »
Captcha buster spreads
By John Leyden → More by this author
Published Wednesday 15th August 2007 15:46 GMT
Find your perfect job - click here from thousands of tech vacancies

A strain of malware capable of setting up bogus Hotmail and Yahoo! accounts in order to send spam has been adapted to also target Gmail accounts.

The HotLan Trojan creates automatically-generated webmail accounts, implying that spammers have discovered a means to defeat Captcha challenge-response systems. Captcha systems, which typically prevent accounts being created until a user correctly identifies letters depicted in an image, are designed to ensure requests are made by a human rather than an automated program.

Since the arrival of the first variant of the Trojan last month, more than 500,000 spam email accounts have been created, according to Romanian anti-virus firm BitDefender. A joint effort between the security teams of BitDefender and Yahoo! appears to have stymied attempts to generate and use Yahoo! accounts to send spam.

However, this has pushed the problem onto Hotmail and Gmail (a new target of a latter variant of the Trojan) rather than having the desired effect of bringing the creation of bogus accounts under control.

The use of compromised PCs to send spam has been going on for years. The HotLan Trojan follows a more complex routine. Each active copy of the Trojan attempts to set up a webmail account, sending off the captcha image in an encrypted form to a spammer-controlled website. Servers behind this site process the image and extract the solution to the captcha challenge, which is then posted in the appropriate field.

Once a webmail account is established, encrypted spam emails are sent from a website onto infected machines. The HotLan Trojan then decrypts these junk emails and sends them to (presumably valid) addresses taken from yet another website.

Junk mail sent using the malware have largely been used to spamvertise pharmacy sites. Multiple bogus accounts are created from each infected machine. The Trojan itself is not widespread, indicating a possible desire by its authors to keep a low profile, even though its effects on Hotmail (in particular) are serious.

"There were 514,000 Hotmail accounts created [by the Trojan], as well as about 49,000 at Google," said Viorel Canja, head of BitDefender Anti-Virus Lab. "However, it is worth noting that while most of the Hotmail accounts are operational, Gmail accounts get blocked pretty fast, usually about a couple of days after being created."


Samker's Computer Forum -

Webmail-creating Trojan targets Gmail
« on: 21. August 2007., 20:51:21 »


With Quick-Reply you can write a post when viewing a topic without loading a new page. You can still use bulletin board code and smileys as you would in a normal post.

Name: Email:
Type the letters shown in the picture
Listen to the letters / Request another image
Type the letters shown in the picture:
Second Anti-Bot trap, type or simply copy-paste below (only the red letters)

Enter your email address to receive daily email with ' - Samker's Computer Forum' newest content:

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Advertising