Feeds

SirCam virus hogs connections with spam

Mass mailing worm growing out of control

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The SirCam mass mailing worm is becoming a major nuisance for Internet users as its numbers have steadily risen over the last week.

Unlike other similar viruses, such as the Love Bug or Anna Kournikova worm, the outbreak of SirCam has not contained, and although it had a slow start it has now become easily the most common virus on the Internet.

MessageLabs, a managed services firm which scans its clients email for malicious code, has intercepted 6941 copies of the bug from 2817 different email addresses.

Alex Shipp, senior anti-virus technologist at MessageLabs, said that the SirCam virus, which first appeared a week ago, was likely to rise throughout the week before peaking and gradually fading out.

As previously reported, SirCam spreads itself as an attachment to email messages, and may in certain cases delete files from a victim's hard disk.

SirCam is similar to the Magistr virus in its ability to arrive in an email with a random subject, body text and attachment name. However infected attachments contain a double extension, which gives users a clue that an email might contain a virus.

The subject line of an email is the name of a file found on the sending PC. The attachment will carry the name of this document file, with a second extension such as COM, EXE, PIF, LNK. A document file is included in the executable that the worm mails, which means there is a possibility of confidential or embarrassing material being mailed out.

The inclusion of a document means much larger emails than are currently spread by viruses will be created, which is having an impact on Internet performance even for those who aren't infected by the bug, but are still been deluged with unwanted emails.

The worm contains its own SMTP routine which is used to send email messages to email addresses found in the Windows address book and the temporary internet folder, where cached internet files are kept. Because the virus has its own email engine copies of emails sent will not show up in a user's email client sent file.

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. Users are also advised to delete any suspicious emails without opening them and to update their antiviral protection. ®

External Links

Write up on SirCam by Symantec

Related Stories

Privacy threatening worm on the loose
Magistr continues three month reign as top virus
Hardware-trashing virus spreads by email
Users haven't learned any lessons from the Love Bug
Reports of death of email viruses greatly exaggerated?
Rise in viruses within emails outpacing growth of email

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.