Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pixsteal: Malware That Wants All of Your Image Files

Pixsteal wants all of your imagesDo you have any sensitive image files stored on your computer hard-drive?

There’s probably a good chance that you do, and if so, you will want to watch out for a new piece of spyware named TSPY_PIXSTEAL.A (which I refer to simply as “Pixsteal”) that was recently discovered by TrendMicro researchers.

As it name implies, once Pixsteal makes its way onto your system it will attempt to steal valuable images by copying all .JPG, .JPEG, and .DMP files from C, D, and E drives and uploading them to a remote FTP server.

Although this may not seem like a big deal, TrendMicro warns that Pixsteal brings a very high risk for identity theft and blackmail since some folks use photos to store both personal and work-related information. Meanwhile, dump files (.dmp) files can prove useful for future targeted attacks as they contain details as to why a computer stopped unexpectedly.

A Pixsteal infection often results from a user falling victim to a drive-by-download or another piece of malware that downloads and installs it. Therefore, users can protect their machines by:

  • Keeping their operating system and installed third-party software fully patched and up-to-date.

  • Always running antivirus with the latest virus definitions.

  • Exercising caution when following links or checking email; always investigate links before following them and don’t download files attached to unsolicited emails without scanning them first.

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