Feeds

Mimail variant attacks anti-spam sites. Again

This time it's war

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

3 Big data security analytics techniques

A new variant of the infamous Mimail worm attempts to knock anti-spam websites off the Net.

Mimail-L typically spreads as an attachment (wendy.zip) to a pornographic email claiming to come from a woman called Wendy.

Windows users who run an infectious file (for_greg_with_love.jpg.exe) within the compressed attachment get a compromised PC and not the compromising pictures promised by the email.

Mimail-L is spreading but to a lesser extent than previous Mimail variants, which have dominated lists of top Net nuisances in recent weeks.

If Mimail-L is activated, the worm forwards copies of itself on to other email users, and reprograms computers to launch a denial of service (DOS) attack against websites run by spam fighting organisations. Sometimes, but not always, the virus spoofs the email address it appears to come from to 'wendy@' a recipient's domain.

Anti-spam websites on the virus's list for a denial of service attack include those operated by SpamCop, SPEWS and The Spamhaus Project. Other websites targeted include Disney's Go website.

The actions of Mimail-L are much like those of a previous variant of Mimail which also attempts to DDoS anti-spam sites.

If, for any reason, Mimail-L fails to propagate correctly it sends an alternative email (without a viral attachment) claiming that the recipient's credit card details have been debited, and that a selection of child porn CDs will be delivered via the post. Users are given the email address of a reputable anti-spam organisation if they wish to 'cancel' this bogus order.

"This worm wages war on the anti-spam community, disrupting their attempts to keep the net spam-free, said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "The writer of this worm seems to have a grudge against anti-spam Web sites and the suspicion has to be that this person is a spammer or is working in collusion with spammers."

"We can't be certain, but all the variants of Mimail seem to come from the same individual or group of virus writers."

Standard defence precautions apply against viral attacks from all variants of the worm: users should update their AV signature definition files to detect the virus and resist the temptation to open suspicious looking emails. ®

External Links

Write up of the Mimail-L worm by Sophos

Related Stories

Dangerous Mimail variant knocks over anti-spam sites
Sneaky virus poses as email from sysadmin (Mimail-A)
New worm scams PayPal punters
Swen fends off Mimail to top viral charts

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.