London: Microsoft research has found that a pair of collaborating viruses proves harder to clean from infected PCs as they foil the removal by regularly downloading updated versions of their malware partner.
According to BBC, the novel versions of the viruses are unknown to anti-virus programs which let the malicious programs persist and take over the machine so it can be mined for saleable data or used to send spam or to attack other machines.
Microsoft malware researcher Hyun Choi said that two Windows viruses, known as Vobfus and Beebone, were regularly found together. Vobfus could be installed via booby-trapped links on websites, travel via network links to other machines or lurk on USB drives and infect machines they are plugged into.
If Vobfus gets installed in a system, it downloads Beebone which enrolls the machine into a botnet, a large network of infected machines and thus the two start downloading updates of each other.
Choi said that even if Vobfus is detected and remediated, it could download an undetected Beebone which can in turn download an undetected variant of Vobfus adding that the two are intrinsically related.
He further recommended disabling the ' autorun' feature on Windows machines as Vobfus exploits this when it arrives via USB drives and said that people should avoid clicking links on external websites to avoid falling victim to booby-trapped URLs, the report added.
First Published: Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 17:07