Welcome to Friendster – Virus/Malware in Disguise

Watch out for well designed, but spoofed invitations from Friendster currently making the rounds through spam driven email campaigns.

The samples we’ve reviewed so far arrive as:

Subject:      Welcome to Friendster
From:     Friendster <join@mail.friendster.com>

Meanwhile an inspection of the Internet Delivery Headers reveals these are actually sent from previously infected personal computers operating on broadband Internet connections as part of a larger zombie botnet.

The body of the email is well designed and appears legitimate:

Friendster Malware Spam

Click for Larger Image

However all links within the message have been replaced. Rather than leading visitors to Friendster they link to a large number of legitimate, but exploited web sites.

For instance, this campaign will link to a specific file designed to download and install malicious code on a visitor’s computer, from an otherwise legitimate server such as:

  • http://hotelordino.com/ which appears to be a valid web site, while
  • http://hotelordino.com/x.html is the page that specifically will attempt to infect a visitor’s computer

By using hacked and compromised web sites to host the malware files, the perpetrators increase the odds of these emails slipping past security and spam filters, and thus increase the odds of infecting more computers which will then join the botnet in sending more spam and virus emails.

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