Cult of the Dead Cow plots mass hack attack

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Cult of the Dead Cow plots mass hack attack

The hacker group Cult of the Dead Cow has vowed to release a new version of its Back Orifice tool, allowing intruders to hijack Windows-based PCs connected to the Internet.

The first version of Back Orifice was released in August last year at the annual hacking trade show called DEF CON. This year’s show starts Friday, with the release of Back Orifice 2.0 as the marquee event.

Back Orifice usually arrives at a victim’s computer as an e-mail attachment. Once the victim is tricked into opening the attachment, the software secretly installs itself and turns the victim’s computer into a “client.” Then, anyone with the other half of the Back Orifice software – the administrator tool – can control the victim’s PC from anywhere on the Internet, copying, executing and deleting files at will.

It is not yet known how the hackers will spread the new Back Orifice, which adds the ability to target Windows NT-based systems. It is likely to arrive hidden inside one of several programs that will be e-mailed as an attachment.

There are likely to be several variations, so antivirus companies urge web users to exercise caution in opening e-mail attachments. Users are advised to update their anti-virus software after detection for Back Orifice 2.0 is included, probably Monday or Tuesday.

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