Feeds

Matchmaking Internet worm brought under control

Want to find your love mates

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The outbreak of a mass emailing worm, which masquerades as a matchmaking program, has been brought under control.

Matcher infects Windows machines only and comes in an email with the subject: "Matcher". The misspelled and grammatically incorrect body text reads: "Want to find your love mates!!! Try this its cool. Looks and Attitude Maching to opposite sex".

The worm was written in Visual Basic and compiled into an executable.

If a user opens the infected attachment, called matcher.exe, the virus attempts to spread by mass mailing itself to everyone in the victim's Outlook address book.

Matcher does not damage infected PC but can potentially overload email servers, as it tries to mass mail itself every minute.

The frenetic rate of mailing suggests that the virus would spread like wildfire if it took hold; but it has proved something of a damp squib.

MessageLabs, a managed services firm which scans its customers' email for malicious code, has intercepted just 150 copies of the worm, far fewer than previous email worms that used sex as a lure - such as the potent Anna Kournikova bug.

Graham Cluley, of antivirus vendor Sophos, said people are less likely to open it than if it disguised itself as a smutty picture because the worm presents itself as an executable to a application. Matcher is "not as sophisticated in the use of psychology" as the Love Bug (which promised to be either a joke or a flirtatious message), he reckons.

Antivirus vendors are in the process of updating their software to deal with the virus and, in most cases, the necessary protection is already in place. That said the worm has caused a fair bit of inconvenience.

Cluley said that one of Sophos' French clients, a well known multinational firm, shut down its email servers for two hours in order to prevent its systems becoming overwhelmed by the virus.

Another source in the security industry informs us that a multinational firm in the petrochemicals industry has also been hit by the virus and is yet to disinfect all its machines. ®

Related stories

Virus plague causes charity to consider Linux
Hardware-trashing virus spreads by email
Anna Kournikova bug drops harmlessly onto the Net
Users haven't learned any lessons from the Love Bug
Virus toolkits are s'kiddie menace
Stop the antivirus vendor hype

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.