Why would Microsoft send you an announcement of a new antivirus product from
Russia? It wouldn't. Yet the author of the Apher worm (w32.apher@mm) is willing
to bet someone will fall for it.
Unfortunately, Apher includes a known Trojan horse, Backdoor.Death.25, which provides an attacker access to the compromised computer. Because Apher sends e-mail but doesn't directly damage computer files, the worm ranks a 4 on the ZDNet Virus Meter.
How it works Apher appears to be e-mail from Microsoft announcing the arrival of new antivirus software from Kaspersky, a Russian antivirus company. The subject line reads: "Protect Your NetWare with KasperskyTM Anti-Virus." . The body text reads:
"Kaspersky Labs, an international data-security software developer, announces the official release of Kaspersky Anti-Virus 4.0. "We are pleased to present the latest version of our anti-virus product. The unique technology, updated design, and perfected administering system integrated into Kaspersky Anti-Virus 4.0 is the result of many years of work dedicated to improving the ease of working with the program and increasing computer defense reliability," said Natalya Kaspersky, Kaspersky Labs CEO. The new Kaspersky Anti-Virus version (Personal Pro, Personal, Lite) fully supports the Microsoft Windows XP operating system. Amongst this version's latest innovations are: a complete user interface upgrade corresponding to Tree Chart technology; perfected system installation that allows for the saving the configuration of previously installed versions, and a quarantine feature for isolating infected and suspicious objects; expanded treatment of infected archived files; an added function for the treatment of Microsoft Outlook Express and objects upon system start up and also a memory scanning of active applications; and simplified operating features for disk recovery.
If you have any questions
The Apher worm includes an attached file: "aaprices.exe"
Users of Microsoft Outlook 2002 and users of Outlook 2000 who have installed the Security Update should be safe from the attached EXE file in Apher. Users who have not upgraded to Outlook 2002 or who have not installed the Security Update for Outlook 2000 should do so. In general, do not open attached files in e-mail without first saving them to hard disk and scanning them with updated antivirus software. Contact your antivirus vendor to obtain the most current antivirus signature files that include Apher.
A few antivirus software companies have updated their signature files to include this worm. This will stop the infection upon contact and in some cases will remove an active infection from your system. For more information, see F-Secure, Kaspersky, or Sophos.