Malicious Code in RTF Files: Yet another Prediction Comes True

13 Jun 2001
Virus News

A Trojan program penetrates computers when reading RTF files

Kaspersky Lab, an international data-security software-development company, warns users about the discovery of the Trojan "Goga" that steals and sends out from infected computers user details for Internet access (i.e. login, password and other information). Kaspersky Lab has already received several reports of the Trojan being detected "in the wild."

"Goga" has two distinguishing features: the first is that it utilizes files in RTF format as a means for spreading, confusing users in as much as they believe these files to be absolutely safe, often opening them without first administering an anti-virus check. The second is that the Trojan exploits a well-known breach in the Microsoft Word security system, allowing a malefactor to launch a malicious code, unbeknownst to a user, immediately following the opening of an infected document.

Should a computer not be installed with the proper patch thwarting this breach, then when the infected RTF file is read, MS Word automatically downloads a template containing the malicious macro-program from a remote Web site without any warning whatsoever. This macro-program extracts additional utility from the RTF file's binary section. This utility searches the infected computer and creates another TXT file containing user Internet access details. At this point, "Goga" starts up the script program that publishes the newely created TXT file in a Web-site guest book open to the general public. The virus writer is now able to periodically cull stolen information from this site.

Kaspersky Lab warned users about falling prey to this RTF-file danger on May 29. We once again recommend that users install the MS Word patch defending against this Trojan and any other malicious programs exploiting this breach ASAP.

Detection and removal procedures have already been added to the Kaspersky Anti-Virus database daily update.

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