Downloader.PFE is a Trojan, which although seemingly inoffensive, can actually carry out attacks and intrusions.
It captures certain information entered or saved by the user, with the corresponding threat to privacy:
keystrokes, in order to obtain information for accessing online banking services, passwords and other confidential information.
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 changes system permissions, decreasing the security level.
Downloader.PFE redirects attempts to access web pages of certain banks to spoofed pages, with the aim of logging information entered by the user in these pages.
It uses stealth techniques to avoid being detected by the user:
- It terminates processes corresponding to several security tools, such as antivirus programs and firewalls, to prevent detection.
- It modifies system permissions in order to hide itself.
Downloader.PFE uses the following propagation or distribution methods:
- Exploiting vulnerabilities with the intervention of the user: exploiting vulnerabilities in file formats or applications. To exploit them successfully it needs the intervention of the user: opening files, viewing malicious web pages, reading emails, etc.
- Email: sending emails that include a copy of itself as an attachment. The computer is infected when the attachment is run.
- Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing programs: it makes copies of itself with enticing names in shared folders belonging to these programs. Other users of this type of networks then voluntarily download and run the infected files.