Antivirus officials are warning users to be on the lookout for the new “Myparty” virus that preys on the popularity of personalized photograph Web pages offered by companies such as Yahoo Inc. and America Online Inc.
Featuring an e-mail subject heading of “new photos from my party!” the virus attempts to trick users into thinking a link inside the e-mail points the reader to a friend’s photo Web site, according to anti-virus officials at McAfee and Symantec Corp. However, the URL is actually an attachment containing a portable executable .com file that launches itself to every address in a user’s Windows address book and addresses found within .DBX files, said Vincent Gullotto, senior director for McAfee AVERT (Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team), in Santa Clara, Calif.
Gullotto said McAfee first began investigating submitted samples of Myparty on Sunday night. Despite a lack of heavy propagation, the anti-virus vendor chose to label the virus medium risk due to its serious social engineering nature.
The bogus e-mail features the following message:
My party…It was absolutely amazing!
I have attached my web page with new photos!
If you can please make color prints of my photos. Thanks!”
The worm attachment reads www.myparty.yahoo.com and is sized at 29,696 bytes. The virus copies itself to C:\Recycledegctrl.exe and executes that file, retrieving a user’s infected machine’s default SMTP server from the registry to launch itself through solicited addresses.
Anti-virus vendors said the virus will stop mailing itself out at midnight on Tuesday. A variant of the worm also exists in a slightly different file – myparty.photos.yahoo.com – featuring an attachment size of 28,160 bytes.