Feeds

More NetSky worms. So much for quitting

Copycats?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.