Instant messaging sites have always been a popular medium for hackers and crooked minded people to freely distribute worms, viruses, trojans, and what not. Yahoo instant messenger is a portal where millions of people come together to chat, make new friends and to reconnect with old pals and become a potential medium for hackers and worm spreaders. Moreover, experts in the field of Internet and web security are warning the net users to stay vigilant, as there is news of a new type of worm spreading throughout the yahoo fraternity.
The new strain of worm is a “.exe” file (which means a file which when clicked executes a program or software. The software may be a malicious one. It is called by bitdefender as Palevo and as Win32 by other anti-virus software’s.).The spreaders of the worm disguise in the form of an image file, which appears from someone in your yahoo messenger chat list or friend list. And if the Internet user unknowingly clicks on the link the system enquires whether it should download the file from some popular Website like ‘myphoto’ or ‘facebook’ and if the user clicks on “save file” a malware is downloaded which affects your system and enables the hackers to use the users your system and friends list to spread the worm again.
Now that the malware is installed, it hacks into your Yahoo messenger account and sends the same file/ photo link to all the members in your contact list. Now your friends would think it to be a genuine photo or file that you wish to share and would download the same, which facilitates the hackers and worm spreaders to spread the worm to more number of people, and this very cycle continues. The worm not only spreads through your contact details but also has the potential to do anything with your computer, from hacking into your private accounts to stealing from your account if you handle Internet banking. It is termed as a backdoor violation too as it gets into your system and affects all kind of functioning, even the use of pen-drives and USB’s may result in the spread of this worm.
Nevertheless, as there is a silver lining in each dark cloud, there is good news too. The worm attacks only when the user executes the file that is installs it in his or her system. Thus, the best way to prevent oneself from such an attack is to avoid it as the saying goes “prevention is better than cure.” Double check with your friends whether they have sent pictures of files through yahoo messenger and download files only on confirmation. This will avoid any such harmful viruses and worms. This is a practice to be followed not only to prevent such worm attacks but from any possible hacking or virus intrusion effort.
Beware of such harmful links and confirm about the validity of such links before downloading them to keep your system, online accounts and your friends safe from such harmful intrusion.