Feeds

Anatomy sheds new light on Storm Worm

Unknown DDoS tool, predecessors

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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 ®.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
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.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.