Worm creates fake gmail accounts
- Worm Solves Gmail's CAPTCHA, Creates Fake Accounts
Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service
A Vietnamese security company has detected what it believes is a new worm
that _thwarts Google's security protections _
(http://www.pcworld.com/article/143270/crafty_spam_outsmarts_gmails_filters.html?tk=rel_news) in order to
register new dummy Gmail accounts from which to send spam.
Bach Koa Internetwork Security (BKIS) said the worm was discovered earlier
this week in one of its honeypots, the term for a computer set up to catch
samples of malicious software. BKIS has named the malware
Once a computer is infected with Gaptcha, the worm launches the Internet
Explorer browser and goes to Gmail's new account registration page. It begins
to fill in random names of fictitious users. When confronted with _a
(http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/158234/captcha_allows_comments_keeps_spam_bots_out.html?tk=rel_news) the worm sends the image to a
remote server for processing, wrote Do Manh Dung, senior malware
researcher, on the BKIS _blog_ (http://security.bkis.vn/?p=586) .
A CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and
Humans Apart) is the distorted text that a person must solve before a new
account can be created. It used to be hard for computers to translate the
text, but improvements in OCR (optical character recognition) technology have
overcome that barrier. In some cases, spammers are believed to employ people
in low-income countries to figure out the CAPTCHA in order to gain new
Once a new registration is complete, the account details are then e-mailed
to a spammer. After too many account registrations, Google will eventually
block the particular computer creating the accounts. The worm then removes
itself, Dung wrote.
Google officials contacted in London did not have a comment on the latest
worm, but it and other companies that provide free e-mail accounts have been
besieged over the last few years by spammers using sophisticated
techniques to create fake accounts.
Free e-mail accounts are valuable to spammers. E-mail sent from those
accounts has a better chance of making it past antispam filters since it comes a
trusted domain, although companies use other methods such as text analysis
to pluck out rubbish e-mail.
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