16 October 2006 | 9,917 views

zCodec Video Codec is a TROJAN

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For those that didn’t see, there is a new all singing all dancing ‘light-weight’ Codec in town that is actually a trojan.

Indeed it’s not the first time we’ve seen this kind of thing.

The zCodec software actually messes with your DNS settings.

Users looking for the latest and greatest video software may not just be in danger from media lawyers. Security firm Panda Software last week warned that zCodec, which claims to offer “up to 40 percent better (video) quality,” is in fact an adware program that can install Trojans, rootkits and other malicious software.

zCodec is freely available online and, as of Monday afternoon, was easy enough to find, offering downloads from its own website – zcodec.com. The site uses images from the films Sin City and Pulp Fiction, and claims zCodec will boost audio as well as video quality.

“zCodec is a multimedia compressor/decompressor which registers into the Windows collection of multimedia drivers and integrates with any application using DirectShow and Microsoft Video for Windows,” the site states.

Media players use codecs (compressor/decompressors) to compress and play back digital media files, but in the real world, for a codec to make any quality difference, a file must be encoded using that codec.

As always do be vigilant when installing software and use a software or desktop firewall to patrol outgoing connections. You can also use something like TCPView to check on outgoing connections a little easier than using plain old netstat.

Panda’s advisory last week revealed that the 100KB file is in fact adware, which “downloads and runs files, changes the DNS configuration and monitors accesses to several adult websites”.

zCodec, formally known as Adware/ZCodec or Adware/EMediacodec, affects most versions of Windows and was first detected last week, Panda said.

When run, the program alters the system’s DNS configuration in order to divert traffic to DNS servers of its choice, a technique sometimes used as part of a phishing scam or to rack up clicks for advertising schemes.

zCodec also accesses a particular IP address to randomly select and download one of a collection of files. The files that could be downloaded include Ruins.MB, a Trojan horse that uses rootkit techniques to conceal itself, Panda said. zCodec could also download an online casino program.

A second file launches every time the user starts Internet Explorer and monitors Web usage. Panda said its software can remove zCodec.

Companies are getting really unscrupulous, what is going to come next I do wonder?

Source: Techworld



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One Response to “zCodec Video Codec is a TROJAN”

  1. Interested 16 October 2006 at 6:27 pm Permalink

    “but in the real world, for a codec to make any quality difference, a file must be encoded using that codec.”

    I thought FFDSHOW can decode other codecs and also enhance it?