Hackers use images from the James Webb telescope to spread virus

(ORDO NEWS) — According to PCMag reports, hackers altered the most famous image taken by the James Webb Space Telescope by injecting computer code into it to run malware that antiviruses cannot detect. The problem was discovered by specialists from the cybersecurity company Securonix.

The image is a regular JPG file and looks like a deep space image taken by a space telescope in early 2022. According to Securonix, the file contains hidden malicious computer code that can be detected by scanning the image with a text editor.

“The image contains malicious Base64 code disguised as an included certificate. At the time of publication, this file could not be detected by any antivirus according to VirusTotal,” Securonix said in a blog post.

The hidden computer code works as a key building block for the main malware. In particular, during the attack, the computer code from the image file will be decoded into a 64-bit Windows application called msdllupdate.exe, and the script will automatically pull the file into automatic system boot during startup, implanting the program β€œin the Run section of the Windows registry.”

Malicious software is designed to receive orders from a remote hacker server. Thus, the attack can pave the way for cybercriminals to take information from the infected system or remotely control it.


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