Feeds

Mimail variant attacks anti-spam sites. Again

This time it's war

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

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

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Own a Cisco modem or wireless gateway? It might be owned by someone else, too
Remote code exec in HTTP server hands kit to bad guys
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.