A newly identified malicious program not only messes up its victims' computers, it taunts them too.
The program, called the BotVoice.A Trojan was first spotted by security vendor Panda Software SA last week. It is a Trojan horse program, which the victim must download first. But once installed, it gets nasty.
The Trojan soon sets to work trying to delete everything from the victim's hard drive, while at the same time endlessly repeating an audible message, apparently designed to taunt the victim.
"You have been infected I repeat you have been infected and your system files have been deleted. Sorry. Have a nice day and bye bye," the Trojan says.
It does this by using a text-reading program that is part of the Windows operating system, Panda said. Users of Windows 2003, XP, 2000, NT, ME, 98 and 95 are all at risk.
Unlike a virus, BotVoice.A does not jump from computer to computer on its own, but spreads via P-to-P (peer-to-peer) networks or storage devices such as CD-ROMs or USB (Universal Serial Bus) memory drives.
The Trojan is unusual because unlike most malware written these days, it appears to be designed to perform mindless vandalism, said Roger Thompson, chief technology officer with Exploit Prevention Labs Inc. "I haven't seen brainless vandalism like that for years," he said via instant message. "The good news is that such a Trojan will never be widespread, because everything is profit-oriented now, and there's not a lot of money in taunting someone."