Instant Messenger RootKit Worm Tied to Worldwide Bot Network Controlled by Group in Middle East

Foster City, CALIF – November 17, 2005 – Experts at FaceTime Security Labsâ„¢ , the threat research division of FaceTime Communications, identified and reported a new threat today related to the AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) “RootKit” worm they first identified on October 28, 2005. New research completed on the AOL rootkit worm confirms it acts as a back door for additional malware to be downloaded. The additional malware is capable of stealing usernames, passwords, and other personal information, and can be managed and controlled by a hacker through IRC communication sessions.

Vindicated! So many folks thought I was off my rocker when I said that IM was extremely dangerous. I refuse to use it, and I always recommend that clients do away with IM on their systems .. although those with with young people in the house often disregarded this advice to their chagrin at a later time.

Thanks TeMerc (home of TeMerc Internet CounterMeasures) and member of SNL Forums for bringing this to our attention, and to Vitalsecurity.org for bringing it to us on the Web.

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