Jan 19, 2007

"Storm Worm" Virus Spreading around the Globe

Sample small.DAM email courtesy of F-Secure

(Helsinki) Emails claiming to provide readers with the latest news about the monster storms that tore through Europe this week actually contain a virus that could leave computers vulnerable to future attacks.

The virus - dubbed "Storm Worm" by antivirus experts - is sent to hundreds of thousands of email addresses globally, with the e-mail's subject line saying "230 dead as storm batters Europe."

The spam messages used subject headers such as "230 dead as storm batters Europe." The virus took the form of an attachment with titles such as "Read More.exe", "Full Clip.exe", "Full Story.exe" and "Video.exe", according to Finnish tech firm F-Secure.

"What makes this exceptional is the timely nature of the attack," said Mikko Hypponen, head of research at F-Secure.

Hypponen added that most users will not notice the malware, which creates a virtual back door to the computer that can be exploited to steal user data or to use the computer as a zombie to spread spam.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for antivirus firm Sophos, said that the virus has spread rapidly.

"On average, one in every 200 emails that people have received since midnight are likely to be infected by this Trojan horse," he said. "Receiving or reading the emails themselves does not mean that you will be infected. However, users must be very careful not to click on the attached file inside the emails as that will install a Trojan horse on their computer."


Roland Hansen said...

Persons responsible for internet trojans, worms, viruses and other pests should be regarded as international terrorists. They should be hunted down and receive their just rewards in prison.

microdot said...

I detest apam and virus senders. The whole virus thing escapes me...outside of sheer malicious mischief, what does it mean? A form of mindless terror ism and just plain inconvenience for thousands.
I have to say, I have never had to deal with the effectsd of viruses so far and I attribute that to the fact that they are all aimed at PCs and I am a confirmed Apple addict!

Hooda Thunkit said...

Although I receive literally hundreds of SPAM emails daily, I prescreen my mail via the web interfaces my ISPs provide me.

Anything that I get with other than recognizable senders and subjects gets deleted before downloading via my email program.

And, I am running virus, spyware and malware programs just in case I miss something.

Still, last year I picked up a worm, three times, but that was before manually screening via the web interface was added.