Feeds

More NetSky worms. So much for quitting

Copycats?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.