Posted on Monday, March 10th, 2008
Virus Postcard (originally from Snopes.com)
Origins: Many web sites offer a service that allows a user to send a customized “greeting card” (or “postcard”) to a relative, friend, or acquaintance, delivered as an e-mail message containing a hyperlink which the recipient follows to visit the originating site and view the card. Sending out phony e-card notifications is therefore an effective method of camouflaging viruses and inducing unwitting recipients into clicking on links that install malicious programs onto their computers. Albeit reminiscent of hoax warnings about a supposed “Virtual Card for You” virus — which never existed — 2007 brought an onslaught of spoofed e-greeting card announcements which actually do contain links to Websites that are either running identity theft (“phishing”) scams or are set up to transfer Trojan horse viruses and other malware onto your computer. (The same trick is also being used to transmit spam in the form of attached .PDF files.)
Antivirus experts recommend deleting such messages and never clicking on the links they contain unless you are quite sure the email originated from a legitimate source.
A wave of malicious messages (like the one reproduced above) sent out in June 2007 employed that very technique, arriving in inboxes bearing subject lines such as “You’ve received a postcard from a family member!” The messages contain URLs that recipients are supposed to visit to retrieve their e-cards, but those URLs actually point to servers hosting a variety of malware (including a variant of the Storm Trojan, “an aggressive piece of malware that has been hijacking computers to serve as attacker bots” since early 2007) that is furtively installed onto victims’ PCs. (Generally, only unpatched Windows-based systems are vulnerable.)
The underlying worm is the same one that has appeared in messages with subject lines as “Sending You All My Love,” the
“Laughing Kitty,” the “Dancing Skeleton,” as well as several game and music download offers. According to spamtrackers.eu:
I checked with McAffe, and they are gearing up for this virus!
I checked Snopes.com, and it is for real!!
Get this E-mail message sent around to your contacts ASAP.
You should be alert. Do not open any message with an attachment entitled “POSTCARD,” regardless of who sent it to you. It is a virus which opens A POSTCARD IMAGE, which ‘burns’ the whole hard disc C of your computer. This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail address in hi s/her contact list. This is the reason why you need to send this e-m ail to all your contacts.
If you receive a mail called” POSTCARD,” even though sent to you by a friend, do not open it! Delete it immediately.
This is the worst virus announced by CNN. It has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information is kept.
Did you know?
In Microsoft Outlook passing your mouse over a link will show the true address of that link in your status bar. I never click on an email link before confirming it is going more or less where I exptect it to go. I never click on a link with a .ru extension (Russia)