Anti-spyware opens new gates for virus writers

Virus writers have created a cunning new virus that combines a trojan horse and phishing techniques to cash in on Microsoft’s mooted anti-spyware product. and Trojan-Clicker.Win32.Agent.ed are examples of awkwardly named trojans that masquerade as a request to download the new Microsoft software.

Agent.ed appears as a small symbol on the taskbar saying it has detected spyware activity.

"Scary, is the word I would use," said David Emm senior technology consultant at Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky. "There are parallels to the world of phishing here. It's just another example of virus writers cashing in on Microsoft expanding its remit."

Microsoft's position as a global computing leviathan makes it the prime target for attack, Emm said. "It's entirely likely we'll see more of this type of phishing-style virus activity. And Microsoft are the prime targets."

Microsoft rolled out the beta-version of its anti-spyware technology in early January after last year acquiring New York-based anti-spyware software company Giant.

It has also been revealed today that Microsoft's MSN software is the target of a new worm. Finnish anti-virus company F-Secure flagged-up that Bropia.A arrives with the promise of pornographic or humorous images, before dumping itself onto the system. Once there it can be used as a backdoor, for collecting system information and for logging keystrokes.

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