"Worm" Crawls Into The KaZaA Network
18 May 2002
The KaZaA file exchange network takes its turn as a virus victim.
Kaspersky Lab, an international data-security software developer, announces the detection of the network worm "Worm.Kazaa.Benjamin" - the first malicious program to spread through the KaZaA file exchange network.
The KaZaA network is one of the most popular file exchange networks using Peer-to-Peer (P2P) technology. Millions of people from all around the world are active users of the network that allows them to quickly dig up files they seek (such as MP3 files) and give other users access to data contained on their own computers.
On an infected computer "Benjamin" creates a directory accessible to other users of the KaZaA network and regularly copies itself into this directory under a multitude of different names, the amount of which counts several thousand. When a network user conducts a search for a file under a name corresponding with one the worm's pseudonyms the unsuspecting user is given the chance to download it from the infected computer. Thus, this is how Benjamin spreads itself through the KaZaA network.
In addition to eating up free disk space Benjamin takes additional actions: under the name of the infected computer's owner it opens an anonymous web site from which it displays advertising banners. This way Benjamin's creator profits by the resulting increase in advertising displays.
"Benjamin" is not the first known worm to exploit public access P2P file exchange networks. Previously the Gnutella file exchange network fell victim to virus creators.
"This event once again demonstrates the necessity to filter all incoming files for viruses, regardless of how well protected this or any other network is. Before use all data should be run through a mandatory check for virus code using the latest virus database update," commented Denis Zenkin, Kaspersky Lab Head of Corporate Communications.
The defense against Benjamin is has already been added to the Kaspersky Anti-Virus database.
More detailed information covering "Worm.Kazaa.Benjamin" can be accessed in the Kaspersky Virus Encyclopedia