Feeds

New version of Sasser undermines lone coder theory

Worm turns up after arrest of prime suspect

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

The appearance of a new version of the infamous Sasser worm shortly after the arrest of its admitted author has fuelled speculation that its creator worked with other virus writers.

Sasser-E was first spotted three hours and 45 minutes after the arrest of Sven Jaschan, 18, from Rotenburg in northern Germany at 2pm on Friday afternoon (local time). Either earlier sightings of the fast-spreading worm were missed or Sasser-E was released by someone other than Jaschan, who was released from police custody after the new version of the worm arrived onto the scene.

Spanish AV firm Panda Software said the appearance of the variant showed there was an "organised group of delinquents" involved in distributing copies of the prolific worm.

Finnish AV firm F-Secure is not so sure: "We believe Mr. "SJ" (who has confessed to writing all the Sasser and NetSky variants) had distributed this version shortly before his arrest. He has been released on bail, but this was only after first reports of this new variant were in. The E variant does not appear to be a hack done by someone else." Circumstantial evidence led F-Secure and many in the AV community to suspect that the NetSky series was the work of multiple authors, a conclusion undermined by Jaschan's confession.

Sasser-E uses the same Windows vulnerability as previous versions to spread across vulnerable Windows 2000 and XP machines, causing them to become unstable and shutdown. Unlike previous version, Sasser-E gives a warning from the "SkyNet Team" about the vulnerability it exploits. Unlike the first four Sassers but like many NetSky variants, Sasser-E tries to remove the Bagle worm. Advice of protecting computers against Sasser can be found here. ®

Related Stories

Sasser worm creates havoc
We've seen worse than Sasser - MS
Sasser creates European pandemonium
German police arrest Sasser worm suspect

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
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
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.
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.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.