By Andrew Brandt, Curtis Fechner, and Grayson Milbourne
Yesterday, at the opening of our BlizzCon coverage, we showed you just how commonly phishers target WoW players by posting innocuous-looking links in message board or forums frequented by players. Today, we’ve produced a really short video that shows exactly how someone infects their computer with a phishing Trojan.
As you can see in the video (even through the “censorship”), the page the victim eventually ends up on emulates the appearance of a Flash-video-based porn site. Every single link on the page links to the malware installer, which means that no matter where on the page the victim clicks, he or she is presented with a download dialog box. Check it out.
This simple social engineering trick, so commonly used of late by Koobface to fool social network users, still manages to convince people to execute the malware installer in order to view the video.
We’d all like to take a moment to give one simple piece of advice: If you follow a link and end up on a site you clearly weren’t intending to go to, stop. Don’t download any executable files—and absolutely don’t run any executable files if you happen to download them. If you have to, hit the Alt-F4 keyboard combination to kill the browser right there, but just don’t run anything else.
Misled gamers who download and run the flash “installer” won’t see any obvious difference on their computers to indicate that they are infected. At this point, the Trojan is ready to start stealing login credentials. These infections are often fairly simple in their configuration, though as with all malware there are much more complex versions that can steal the passwords for multiple games.
The installer executable simply drops a DLL file onto the victim’s hard drive, typically to the System32 or another Windows subdirectory. That file performs the keystroke logging, then sends that data to the phisher behind the scam. The installer also modifies the Registry so the DLL loads with every startup.
Keyloggers aren’t the only threats targeting online games. Others include spam phishing-type posts on the public forums for individual guilds, malicious URLs communicated through the in-game chat channels, and even exploits against security weaknesses in Web sites and message boards frequented by members of the WoW playing community.