virus graphic   Haxdoor Virus and the threat to your passwords

Tips & Hints

Posted 5 August 2006

The Haxdoor virus shows how we are losing the virus war. It's time to get very serious about protecting your computer.

For the first time, a major organisation has admitted that user's details are been stolen due to Trojan infected machines. The Haxdoor virus is blamed for stealing 170 tax file numbers from people using the Australian Tax Office's online portal.

The ATO should be congratulated on admitting the problem, as it has on previous occasions. It is almost certain that many other organisations have been compromised. At present, no bank has admitted a problem but we have no doubt the same thing is happening to their customers.

What this shows is how important computer security has become. For many people, the data on their computers are now more valuable than their wallets. We need to start seriously locking down our computers.

Haxdoor itself is a general purpose Trojan that opens a computer to others. It can be used to steal passwords, send spam or join a botnet. It's another example of how criminals, spyware and virus writers are coming together.

The most common way of becoming infected by Haxdoor and other Trojan is visiting an infected site: Games, music, porn and free software sites are the most common culprits. We are also seeing more sites like MySpace being hijacked by spyware companies. We strongly recommend browsing these sites only in Limited User profiles or on a non-Windows system.

Once infected, it is very difficult to fix the problems. We are now recommending that people who have been infected should reformat their systems. Victims should change their banking and other important passwords and PINs immediately.

Given the risks posed by these viruses, we have updated our Computer Protection Kit. We cannot emphasise the risk Haxdoor and similar programs pose to computer users. If your computer is necessary for your work, then restricting access and not using it for casual surfing is essential.
PC Rescue Pty Ltd, Suite 236, 4 Young Street Neutral Bay NSW 2089
ABN 36 082 635 765
ŠTechnology Publishing Australia, 2008