SirCam blitz is damp squib

Sloppy programming saves the day

SirCam, the bandwidth-munching, privacy-invading, mass-mailing virus, has failed to wipe the hard disks of infected users today, thanks to a bug in the worm's code.

Antivirus firms have confirmed that nothing has happened, even though a routine in the worm's code means it is supposed to activate on 16 October and delete everything from the drive where Windows is installed for one in 20 unfortunate victims.

Mikko Hypponen, Manager of Anti-Virus Research at F-Secure, said: "It's being a quiet day today, exactly as we expected."

Hypponen said SirCam "which tumbles in its own trickery" fails to initiate a random number generator that would determine if the virus invoked its wiping sub-routine, because of which nothing happens.

"There's been a lot of false information on Sircam activation because the code [which is written in Delphi] is so complex to analyse", he added.

"Virus writers are mostly kids and quality control is terrible these days," said David Perry, global director of education at Trend Micro, who added that up until 1995 the bugs in viruses did more damage than the malicious code itself.

Although reports of a SirCam-inspired apocalypse have failed to materialise, it still makes sense for people to get themselves disinfected, especially since SirCam is still common three months after it first appeared on the Internet in mid-July.

MessageLabs, a managed services firm which scans its users email for viruses, has a>blocked 1,116 copies of SirCam in the last 24 hours alone. ®

External Links

Write up on Sircam by F-Secure

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