Microsoft researchers have discovered that a pair of PC viruses called Vobfus and Beebone are harder to squash when they work in tandem. Two heads are better than one, right?
Vobfus and Beebone work by regularly downloading updates of each other. Vobfus, a worm virus that was first discovered in 2009, usually appears on a machine first — often through malicious links on a website or within a USB drive. Once it's installed, Vofus will download Beebone, a trojan virus. From there, Beebone will typically hook the infected machine up to a botnet and let the spam spread.
Once the Legion of Doom of viruses are present on a computer, hackers can mine afflicted machines for data or use them to send spam to other machines hooked up to the botnet. The pair is more powerful together. Since they download one another constantly, it makes them particularly hard to get rid of. And Microsoft says, even if Vobfus has been detected and removed, there very well may be a version of Beebone flying under the radar.
So how do you avoid the dynamic duo? Microsoft offers some common sense solutions — one, disable autorun on Windows computers, because Vobfus often sneaks in through USB drives and other removable devices. And two, lay off clicking the suspicious links of course. And, if that fails, you can always resort to a folding chair attack while the ref's distracted. [TechNet via BBC News]