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Iran Missile Strike Worm Emails

by Brett M. Christensen

April 2007:
Inboxes are being hit by malicious emails with subject lines claiming there has been a missile strike launched against Iran or that war has been declared involving Iran, Israel or the USA. The messages carry an attachment that contains the Zhelatin.CQ worm.

Subject lines used in the worm emails include the following:

  • Missle Strike: The USA kills more then 1000 Iranian citizens
  • Missle Strike: The USA kills more then 10000 Iranian citizens
  • USA Declares War on Iran
  • Iran Just Have Started World War III
  • Israel Just Have Started World War III
  • USA Just Have Started World War III
  • USA Missle Strike: Iran War just have started

Various names given to the malicious payload are designed to fool recipients into believing that more information about the war can be accessed by opening the attachment. Attachment names include the following:

  • More.exe
  • News.exe
  • Read More.exe
  • Read Me.exe
  • Click Here.exe
  • Click Me.exe
  • Movie.exe
  • Video.exe

Once executed, the worm installs a root kit and a peer-to-peer network component on the infected computer. It also searches the infected computer for email addresses and sends copies of itself to the addresses collected.

Similar tactics have been used by a number of other worms and trojans in the past, including the Storm Worm trojan earlier in 2007. Be wary of any emails that claim to contain news of important people or events. Some, like this one, carry the malicious payload as an email attachment. Others try to trick recipients into downloading the payload by clicking a link in the message that promises more information on the supposed news story.

Recipients should never open an attachment or following links in such emails. Recipients concerned that the claims in such emails may be true should access legitimate news outlets rather than open attachments or follow links. Important news such as a missile attack would be quite easy to verify via a variety of mainstream news sources.

For more detailed information about this worm, see:
Email-Worm:W32/Zhelatin.CQ

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer