Panda Security Publishes Virus Yearbook 2009
GLENDALE, Calif., Dec. 30 /PRNewswire/ — PandaLabs, the anti-malware laboratory of Panda Security, has published its 2009 Virus Yearbook, examining the most intriguing malicious codes to emerge over the last 12 months.
Rather than spotlighting the most widespread viruses, or those that have caused the most infections, PandaLabs has selected those which stood out most for their use of social engineering or visible effects on users’ PCs. For this reason, some of the more well-known malicious codes (such as the Koobface virus) are absent from the list.
Here are the viruses PandaLabs believes deserve a mention:
- Biggest headache. Conficker.C (http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/security-info/204292/Conficker.C) was without a doubt the most obnoxious virus this year. It first appeared on December 31, 2008, and has spent the last year infecting companies and home users alike. The insidious and tenacious nature of this malicious code has earned it first place in Panda’s ranking.
- Harry Potter of viruses. Although there is no reference to the world’s most popular fictional wizard, the on-screen messages Samal.A (http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/security-info/204412/Samal.A) displays are all about magic. When it infects a computer, users will see the message “Ah ah you didn’t say the magic word” (see photo on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/panda_security/4221345649/), and the cursor then flickers, waiting for users to enter a word. The truth is it doesn’t matter what is entered, because after three attempts, the phrase “Samael has come. This the end” (see photo on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/panda_security/4222107778/), will be displayed and the computer is restarted.
- V for Vendetta. While it’s still unclear who exactly the real target of this worm is, DirDel.A (http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/security-info/205263/DirDel.A) wreaks vengeance on infected users, progressively replacing folders in different directories with copies of itself. The worm is carried in a file called Vendetta.exe with a typical Windows folder icon (see photo on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/panda_security/4222107854/).
- Plain nuisance. The Sinowal.VZR (http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/security-info/205521/Sinowal.VZR) Trojan has infected thousands of computers under the guise of plane tickets supposedly purchased by the user (see photo on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/panda_security/4221345717/).
- All-action virus. Once infected with Whizz.A (http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/security-info/206552/Whizz.A), computers will start emitting a series of beeps, the mouse pointer moves uncontrollably around the screen, and the CD/DVD tray opens and closes, while the screen is ‘decorated’ with a row of bars (see photo on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/panda_security/4222107900/).
- Snooper. Waledac.AX (http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/security-info/208608/Waledac.AX) ensnares its victims by claiming to offer a free application for reading SMS messages on anyone’s cell phone. Waledac.AX is seemingly ideal for people who want to check up on their partners, explaining why so many users fell victim to this intelligent virus.
- Most affectionate. BckPatcher.C (http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/security-info/209172/BckPatcher.C) tops this category, as it changes the desktop wallpaper to an image reading “virus kiss 2009″ (see photo on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/panda_security/4221350771/). What a charmer!
- Touch of the sniffles. PandaLabs couldn’t fail to mention a couple of the viruses, WinVNC.A and Sinowal.WRN, (http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/security-info/213107/WinVNC.A and http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/security-info/215722/Sinowal.WRN) that used the widespread alarm surrounding swine flu to trick users and infect their systems.
- Incompetent newcomer. The Ransom.K Trojan (http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/security-info/214317/Ransom.K) encrypts documents on infected computers, and then asks for a $100 ransom to release them. However its creator, probably lacking in experience, included a programming error which allows users to release the files with a simple key combination.
- Most deceitful. This year, the winner in this category is FakeWindows.A (http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/security-info/215885/FakeWindows.A), which infects users by passing itself off as a license activation process for Windows XP.
- Party animal. Banbra.GMH (http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/security-info/216004/Banbra.GMH) arrives in an email promising photos of Brazilian parties (with dancing girls included). Who could resist?
More information about these and other threats is available at www.pandasecurity.com.
Since 1990, its mission has been to detect and eliminate new threats as rapidly as possible to offer clients maximum security. To do so, PandaLabs has an innovative automated system that analyzes and classifies thousands of new samples a day and returns automatic verdicts (malware or goodware). This system is the basis of collective intelligence, Panda Security’s new security model which can even detect malware that has evaded other security solutions.
Currently, 99.4 percent of malware detected by PandaLabs is analyzed through this system of collective intelligence. This is complemented through the work of several teams, each specialized in a specific type of malware (viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, phishing, spam, etc), who work 24/7 to provide global coverage. This results in more secure, simpler and resource-friendly solutions for clients.
More information is available in the PandaLabs blog: http://www.pandalabs.com
SOURCE Panda Security