Feeds

More NetSky worms. So much for quitting

Copycats?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Two new NetSky worms appeared on the scene yesterday, despite a promise by the original author this week to refrain from releasing any more versions.

Differences in the code of NetSky-L and NetSky-M from their 11 older siblings have led anti-virus researchers to suspect that they are the work of a copycat. This suggests the source code of the virus has been leaked.

Text hidden inside NetSky-K said that it would be "the last version", but warned that the source code would be "available soon". Releasing the source code would make it far easier for other viruswriters to create new versions of the worm, such as NetSky-L.

Like previous versions, Netsky-L, spreads by email in an attachment. But it contains a number of significant differences from its predecessors.

Carole Theriault, a security consultant at AV firm Sophos, told El Reg that unlike earlier variants, Netsky-L contains no mention of 'Skynet', does not try and disinfect the Bagle worm, and contains no hidden text slagging off Bagle's author.

It could be the NetSky author is just playing games and hasn't quit at all. Theriault considers this as possible but unlikely even though she acknowledges that her tentative conclusions are based on circumstantial evidence.

Security watchers are yet to confirm the release of the source code of NetSky but if the original author has kept to his promise and released blueprints for the virus then this might result in the creation of more mutations.. And these might come at an even faster rate if more people have access to plans on how NetSky is built.

AV firms rate NetSky-L, which is spreading slowly, as low risk. NetSky-M is even rarer. Previous versions of the worm - in particular NetSky-D - remain a far more potent threat. ®

Related stories

NetSky author signs off
War of the worms turns into war of words
Netsky-D makes your PC go beep, beep, beep
MyDoom and Netsky cause chaos

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.