New IM Worm Targets AIM Users to Deliver Adware Payload

Research experts at FaceTime Security Labs, the threat research division of FaceTime Communications, identified and reported a new threat affecting AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) applications. The new worm targets PC hosts infected with lockx.exe or palsp.exe and utilizes IRC enabled malware to connect the host to a server for further infection through a series of commands. One of the commands has the ability to control the AIM client on the infected host and send a message containing links to the AIM buddy list. When recipients click on the link they become infected with new variants of the IRC enabled malware along with an installation executable "creame.exe" which delivers multiple adware payloads including Zango and 180 solutions.

Who is affected: All users who have been infected by the "lockx.exe" or "palsp.exe" or its variants are at most risk. Users can initiate a free online scan which can detect and disable files such as lockx.exe by visiting:

This worm sends one of the following messages to buddies on the AIM contact list of the infected machine:
(1) "great picture :)"
(2) "not a right time to take a picture haa :-)"
(3) "not a right time to take a picture haa :-)"
(4) "not a right time to take a picture haa :-)"

This past November, FaceTime security researchers discovered how the AIM RootKit worm was tied to the worldwide Bot network controlled by a hacking group in the Middle East.

FaceTime Enterprise Edition and IMAuditor customers can proactively block these malicious threats and prevent infections before they happen by blocking downloads of the specific executable files associated with the threat. FaceTime also recommends activating the Day Zero Defense System within IMAuditor 6.5. The system utilizes anomaly detection techniques to analyze multiple characteristics of IM-borne worms and other malicious code against normal behavior, and provides patent-pending protection against these threats without the need for traditional security signatures. FaceTime RTGuardian customers are automatically protected if they have auto update features enabled. FaceTime's X-Cleaner customers (formerly XBlock) should download the latest update and scan their PC to detect and remove lockx.exe files.

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