War of the worms turns into war of words

Netsky and Bagle authors having a ding-dong?

The unknown authors of the Netsky and Bagle worms are battling in cyberspace for control of vulnerable Windows PCs. Maybe.

New versions of the Bagle worm (e.g. Bagle-J) make derogatory comments about the Netsky worm's creator within their virus code.

Meanwhile, three new Netsky worms designed to remove Bagle and MyDoom infections from infected PCs have also arrived on the scene in recent days.

In apparent response, the people behind MyDoom have released an updated version of their malware, MyDoom-G, which is not disabled by Netsky.

Since February 27, the authors of the Bagle have released nine versions (Bagle-C to K). In the same period, three new versions of Netsky (Netsky-D to F) have appeared on the Net.

According to Steven Sundermeier, a veep at AV firm Central Command, the short period between each worm release, "by the same set of virus writing groups, is real reason for alarm, especially since so many of them have successfully compromised systems worldwide. It's a direct attack on the response times of antivirus companies, a strain on IT professionals, a financial impact on businesses, and appears to be a war over power and seniority among these authors."

Or is it an elaborate smokescreen? Maybe the picture of three rival gangs fighting it out on the Net is deceptive.

Sundermeier says: "Obviously, virus writers can't be trusted. So, what might appear as a malicious cat-and-mouse game between virus writing groups may actually be a well-organized cover-up to disguise their true intentions." ®

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Viral timeline from F-Secure

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