Feeds

Mimail variant attacks anti-spam sites. Again

This time it's war

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.