Feeds

Meet NetSky-X, the Babel Fish worm

Windows malware mangles nine languages

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

NetSky-X, the latest in the ever-expanding series of pesky computer worms, displays a dalliance with foreign languages previously unknown among virus writers.

The latest Windows-only nuisance - discovered today - sends messages in either English, Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Italian, French or German. The "polyglot worm" is spreading extensively, particularly in mainland Europe. This spread is doubtless helped by the fact most users will be thrown by seeing an infectious email in their own language and not English, as is the norm. That's not to say the unknown author of the worm is any good at languages, though.

"In many cases the messages are composed incorrectly suggesting that the worm's author did not ask native speakers for translation or used an on-line translation service like Babel Fish," Finnish AV firm F-Secure notes.

In most respects NetSky-X is very similar to its 23 siblings.

It spreads via email, with users becoming infected when they click on the message attachment (which typically has a .PIF file extension) to open it. Email subject lines say "Re: document" or some bad translation of the same. The worm contains a payload which attempts to launch a DoS (Denial of Service) attack on three German language websites between 28 April and 30 April 2004. These websites are www.nibis.de, www.medinfo.ufl.edu and www.educa.ch.

As usual, users are advised to minimise risk of infection by not clicking on unknown email attachments. Updating AV signature files is another sensible precaution for users stuck with Windows. Mac and Linux users are - as usual - immune. ®

Related stories

NetSky-V spreads on auto-pilot
Kazaa and eDonkey brace for NetSky-Q onslaught
NetSky tops virus charts by a country mile

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Jihadi terrorists DIDN'T encrypt their comms 'cos of Snowden leaks
Intel bods' analysis concludes 'no significant change' after whistle was blown
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
China hacked US Army transport orgs TWENTY TIMES in ONE YEAR
FBI et al knew of nine hacks - but didn't tell TRANSCOM
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.