Westlake Village (CA) - Security analysts at MicroWorld Technologies, a computer security vendor, have discovered a new Trojan horse that steals usernames and passwords from World of Warcraft players. The PSW.Win32.WOW.x spreads mainly through malicious browser pop-ups, but has also appeared in P2P files and email attachments. In addition to stealing WoW passwords, the Trojan also tries to disable anti-virus and firewall software.
While stealing someone’s WoW account information may not be a big deal, virtual gold and gear in the account can be converted into real cash. Many sites sell virtual gold and the exchange rate is currently around $5 to $10 dollars for every 100 gold.
Virtual gear that is not bound to the character, known as "Bind on Equip" or BoE in WoW-speak, can also be sold. Some of the rarer items can sell for thousands of gold. Gold and gear is easily transferred either by sending it through the in-game mail system or by opening up a trade window with a conspiring character. (Can you tell this reporter plays WoW ?)
This isn’t the first Trojan horse targeting World of Warcraft. Last July, Symantec discovered the pwsteal.warcraft Trojan that did almost exactly the same thing.