Feeds

Anatomy sheds new light on Storm Worm

Unknown DDoS tool, predecessors

The essential guide to IT transformation

A deluge of Trojan-laced spam that slyly tricked recipients by promising information about winter storms ravaging Northern Europe last month was even more crafty than we thought.

Among the new revelations: The Storm Worm malware launched DDoS attacks on a host of websites related to spam, antispam and just about anything else that may have piqued the perpetrators' ire, according to Joe Stewart, senior security researcher for SecureWorks. It also appears to be a close descendant of worms that spread in November and December, a connection that few if any have made until now.

Storm Worm captured the grudging admiration of those in the security industry for its uncanny ability to marry technical prowess with social networking. Within days of brutal storms sacking Europe, the email assault began bearing subject lines such as "230 dead as storm batters Europe." Sadly, plenty of recipients fell for the topical come-on. Over the next week, the worm played at least a half dozen variations on a theme, using subjects such as one claiming US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice kicked German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

It was known to install a root kit that made victims part of a botnet.

Stewart says Storm Worm is a variant of the Win32/Nuwar worm that spread as early as November. Unbeknown to most at the time, Storm Worm also also installed a DDoS attack tool that wreaked havoc on various websites. Among them was spamnation.info, which is dedicated to countering the menace of spam. According to a February 3 posting, the site was shut down for eight days by a DDoS attack suspected to have been carried out by "spammers who were unhappy about the fact that the site publishes information about stock spam" .Other sites that were also targeted by Storm Worm included stockpatrol.com and several sites Stewart guesses were run by rival spammer gangs.

Stewart provides plenty of other details in his anatomy-of-a-worm report. Among other things, the worm downloaded additional payloads using the eDonkey/Overnet P2P protocol and a highly sophisticated series of hash values to keep the download sites from getting shut down ®.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.