As eWeek reports, certain malware developers have recently taken a new approach to gaining access to unsuspecting users’ PCs. Researchers with security firm Sophos have discovered a Trojan masquerading as an iPhone game attached to emails with subject lines like “Virtual iPhone games!" and “Apple: the most popular game!" The Trojan has been identified by Sophos as Troj/Agent-HNY and exists as a file named Penguin.Panic.zip, after Penguin Panic, a jailbreak iPhone game.
“It’s your bog-standard malicious Trojan horse, designed to hand control of the compromised computer over to a third-party hacker,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. “That hacker can then take over the compromised PC to download further malware, or launch spam campaigns, install spyware to steal your identity or launch a distributed denial-of-service attack. Because so many Trojan horses these days download additional code from the Internet, hackers can change the ultimate payload at anytime they wish–they just update the file which the Trojan tries to download.”
Troj/Agent-HNY is not iPhone-native malware. The ZIP file contains a Windows executable–it can execute and afflict only Windows PCs. The popularity and tech news spotlight that has surrounded third-party iPhone applications since the App Store launch simply made the guise of an iPhone game attractive to the malware developers behind this Trojan.