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A Word of advice for downloaders

Anti-virus experts at security firm MicroWorld are advising home and office users to excercise caution before opening Word documents downloaded from untrustworthy websites or received from unknown senders, as these might be infected with the MSWord.Lafool.v trojan.

Anti-virus experts at security firm MicroWorld are advising home and office users to excercise caution before opening Word documents downloaded from untrustworthy websites or received from unknown senders, as these might be infected with the MSWord.Lafool.v trojan.

According to the firm, this trojan is essentially a macro that uses Microsoft Word’s own programming language to advance its infection routine.

Macro trojans do not generally prevent programs from functioning, instead they target documents and templates. However, MSWord.Lafool.v acts differently, by working as a ‘trojan dropper’ that deposits an information-stealing trojan named PSW.LdPinch.bbg. According to MicroWorld, this trojan steals confidential information such as FTP usernames and passwords, networking information and e-mail login info and settings.

“In the hands of an intruder who targets confidential information of a home user or an organisation, this type of malware can be a highly effective tool for penetration and espionage,” stated Govind Rammurthy, CEO of MicroWorld Technologies.

“Knowledge is money, figuratively and literally. For a victim whose credit card information is stolen, it’s as good as his loaded wallet being stolen in broad day light. For an organisation that loses its knowledge base and intellectual property, the damage could be well beyond some zeros vanishing from its bottom line,” Rammurthy added.

MicroWord is urging all users to update their anti-virus software and to scan all Word documents that have been downloaded from the web or received via e-mail before opening them.

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