Cyber-Crooks Disguise Malware as Files Related to 'High School Musical'
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Schools may want to bolster monitoring of student use of peer-to-peer file sharing networks over the next few months, according to PandaLabs, the research arm of Panda Security. The company, which sells security solutions, has reported that numerous downloadable songs and videos related to Disney's movie High School Musical are being used to disguise malware, including viruses, worms, and Trojans. The infected files are distributed through peer-to-peer file sharing networks such as eMule and eDonkey.
PandaLabs says that when users run one of these fake files, they may expect to hear songs from the film or see a video clip, yet all that will happen is that the computer will be infected by VB.ADQ, the Agent.KGR Trojan, the adware Koolbar, or another strain of malicious code. Some may also display images related to the film when run to avoid arousing suspicion.
"Cyber-crooks are exploiting the interest of the numerous fans of these films, by hiding their creations in files with names related to 'High School Musical,'" said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs. "An added danger is that many of these fans are very young and as such are more likely to fall into the trap. It is important that safeguards and appropriate ... monitoring solutions are put into place to protect ... PCs."
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.