We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Yahoo messaging worm hijacks IE

Installs fake browser

A worm that installs a 'Safety Browser' and plays screeching music is circulating via IM.

The annoyance starts with a link apparently sent by a friend in Yahoo's IM (instant messaging) program.

IM security company FaceTime Communications described the malware, which it calls "yhoo32.explr", as "insidious" in a security advisory last week.

When the link is clicked, a worm installs the so-called 'Safety Browser', a program that leads the user to pages mined with adware and viruses, FaceTime said. The Safety Browser uses an Internet Explorer logo to make it look more legitimate.

Malware spread through instant-messaging programs is on the rise. However, FaceTime said this malware appeared to be the first to install a browser without the user's permission.

The bug also hijacks Internet Explorer's home page, directing users to the Safety Browser's site.

After it is launched, the worm sends itself to others on the user's instant-messaging contact list.

The malware is engineered to overwrite instant messages typed by a user, FaceTime said. The infected message can be changed on the fly, the company said.

The screeching music is blocked by Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack 2.0, FaceTime said.

FaceTime has posted screenshots of the infection process on its blog.

IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

LED vs Halogen: Why now could be the right time to invest in LED bulbs

IDG UK Sites

Christmas' best ads: See great festive spots studios have created to promote themselves and clients

IDG UK Sites

Why Apple shouldn't be blamed for exploitation in China and Indonesia