Yahoo Instant Messenger: The Virus du Jour?

The latest social-networking virus going around is being spread through Yahoo Instant Messenger. One of your contacts sends you an IM (“instant message”) asking “is this your pic” with a link which contains the string – but if you actually read the link, it’s pointing to someplace in the .ly domain. That’s Libya – not exactly a friend to Western nations. Don’t expect the Libyan authorities to take any action against the person or persons behind this attack; that’s not going to happen.

McAfee fails to detect the virus (in my experience, this is not unusual. I would NEVER use McAfee or Norton security products. But that’s jsut me, the computer professional. Your mileage may vary.).

In order to get rid of it, follow these steps:

  1. Reboot your computer into “safe mode with networking.”
  2. Download and install Malwarebytes Antimalware (the free version will be fine for this purpose).
  3. Update MBAM and run a full scan of your system.
  4. Remove any malicious software found.

Optional (but recommended): If yo uare running Norton or McAfee security products, dump them. In my experience, while they will give you a “warm fuzzy” feeling that you are protected – you aren’t. After removing it, install instead Microsoft Security Essentials or Comodo Anti-Virus.

Afterwards, reboot into normal mode and immediately scan again. This step is essential.

Good luck – and may the Bytes be with you!

Example spam IM:

By icesnake

Icesnake, known to Law Enforcement the world over as Rich Tietjens, retired from the US Army in 1992 and has spent the intervening years attempting to die with the most gadgets, and thus, win. To this end, he has written software both as a freelance programmer and a paid consultant, tested network products and built driver disks for Intel, operated a Web hosting service for ten years, built more personal computers than any sane man would ever want, collected seven cats, and finally settled down in Oregon as the Information Technology Training Coordinator (fancy talk for "help desk and PC tech") for a small manufacturing firm. Rich started playing Dungeons and Dragons in 1976 and has never given up the RPG habit, progressing through Diablo, Everquest, Asheron's Call, Diablo 2, and World of Warcraft. Most evenings you can find him on Trollbane-US playing his mage, Icesnake - who is an Engineer and is trying to collect all the cool gadgets in Greater Azeroth... And so it goes.

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