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Iran Missile Strike Worm Emails

April 2007:
Inboxes are being hit by malicious emails with subject lines claiming there has been a missile strike launched against Iran or that war has been declared involving Iran, Israel or the USA. The messages carry an attachment that contains the Zhelatin.CQ worm.

Subject lines used in the worm emails include the following:
Various names given to the malicious payload are designed to fool recipients into believing that more information about the war can be accessed by opening the attachment. Attachment names include the following:
Once executed, the worm installs a root kit and a peer-to-peer network component on the infected computer. It also searches the infected computer for email addresses and sends copies of itself to the addresses collected.

Similar tactics have been used by a number of other worms and trojans in the past, including the Storm Worm trojan earlier in 2007. Be wary of any emails that claim to contain news of important people or events. Some, like this one, carry the malicious payload as an email attachment. Others try to trick recipients into downloading the payload by clicking a link in the message that promises more information on the supposed news story.

Recipients should never open an attachment or following links in such emails. Recipients concerned that the claims in such emails may be true should access legitimate news outlets rather than open attachments or follow links. Important news such as a missile attack would be quite easy to verify via a variety of mainstream news sources.

For more detailed information about this worm, see:

Email Worm Claims Missile Strike Against Iran
Spam campaign uses Storm-like attack technique
Storm Worm Hitting Inboxs Worldwide

Last updated: 10th April 2007
First published: 10th April 2007

Write-up by Brett M.Christensen