Feeds

Early birds catch Davinia worm

But get your MS Office patch now

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Even though the 'Davinia' worm has done far less damage than was first feared, anti-virus experts warn it exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Office that most users have left open.

And the techniques used to write the Davinia worm could be used by virus writers to wreak far more damage.

According to the Virus boffins at Kaspersky Labs in Russia, Davinia has a very destructive payload, wiping the hard drive of any infected machine. However, it seems to have been defeated by its rather ponderous method of propagation. Antivirus companies are reporting that few of their customers have fallen victim to the virus - described as potentially another Love Bug by its discoverer, Panda Software.

A target computer is sent an email containing two script programs. The first opens an Internet Explorer browser window and initiates a link to the virus writers' site and the second opens a Word document from the site.

The Word document contains a macro that switches off built-in anti-virus protection, exploiting the "Office 2000 UA Control Vulnerability", discovered in May 2000 and for which a patch is available from Microsoft.

Then it emails a link to the vandal's Web site to all contacts in the victim's Outlook address book.

Kaspersky Labs says the rogue site is the only place where the virus part of the worm exists. This site has now been shut down.

However, other virus writers could use the same trick to propagate new malicious code, so the Russian virus hunters recommend that people download the patch for the vulnerability here.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at anti-virus vendor Sophos, said that many, if not most users, have so far failed to apply the MS Office patch. This is important because the vulnerability means a virus could be developed that infect users without them opening an attachment in an email message.

Cluley criticised Panda Software, which discovered Davinia, for exaggerating the impact of the worm, and for its tardiness in exchanging copies of the malicious code through the Rapid Exchange for Virus Samples group, an industry group. ®

Lucy Sherriff contributed to this story

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?