Study: Kazaa full of Trojans, viruses

— 12:21 PM on January 9, 2004

Wired is reporting that a whopping 45% of executable files downloaded through Kazaa are infected with Trojans or viruses.

Out of 4,778 files downloaded in one month, Bruce Hughes, director of malicious code research at security firm TruSecure, found that nearly half of them contained various types of nefarious code.

Some code was designed to infect every file in a computer user's Kazaa download directory with a virus. Other code would steal the user's AOL Instant Messenger password or install a program on their computer to allow the attacker to surreptitiously send spam through it or otherwise take over the machine remotely to steal personal data and files on the computer.

The article points out that 80 to 95% of infected executables were detected with anti-virus software, but also that users don't always have anti-virus software running or an up-to-date set of virus definition files. According to Sharman Networks, Kazaa is the world's most downloaded software application (2.4 million downloads in the last week alone), giving millions of users access to a network full of tainted executables.
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