Feeds

Meet NetSky-X, the Babel Fish worm

Windows malware mangles nine languages

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
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
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
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.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.