Gaobot.MXZ is a worm that spreads by copying itself, without infecting other files.
It captures certain information entered or saved by the user, with the corresponding threat to privacy:
passwords saved by certain Windows services.
It affects productivity, preventing tasks from being carried out:
- In the affected computer:
it converts the computer into a platform for taking malicious action surreptitiously: spam sending, launch of Denial of Service attacks, malware distribution, etc.
- In the local network:
it generates a large amount of network activity and consumes bandwidth.
It reduces the security level of the computer:
it terminates processes belonging to security tools, such as antivirus programs and firewalls, leaving the computer defenseless against attacks from other malware; it opens one or more ports to allow remote access to the computer and takes action that compromises user confidentiality; it awaits remote-control orders received through
IRC, HTTP, or FTP.
It uses stealth techniques to avoid being detected by the user:
- It uses techniques included in its code to hide itself while it is active.
- It terminates processes corresponding to several security tools, such as antivirus programs and firewalls, to prevent detection.
- It deletes the original file from which it was run once it is installed on the computer.
Gaobot.MXZ does not spread automatically using its own means. It needs an attacking user's intervention in order to reach the affected computer. The means of transmission used include, among others, floppy disks, CD-ROMs, email messages with attached files, Internet downloads, FTP, IRC channels, peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing networks, etc.