Old worms learn new tricks

by admin December 27, 2005 at 11:56 am

Year in review: A seemingly endless barrage of variants of the Bagle and MyTob worms surfaced this year, but what really pummeled e-mail servers around the globe were two Sober offshoots.

The first hit in May, and the second clogged e-mail in-boxes and servers in November. Microsoft’s Hotmail and MSN e-mail services had so much trouble dealing with the infected spam that messages sent to members faced an unspecified delay. Some antivirus companies predicted there will be another Sober onslaught on Jan. 5.

To the surprise of some experts, Sober’s tricks to get recipients to open the malicious e-mail and attachment worked. In May, the e-mail promised a prize of free tickets to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, while in November, the bait was a Paris Hilton video or a purported FBI e-mail.

There weren’t many headline-grabbing worm or virus outbreaks in 2005, but Zotob, which caused outages at CNN, The New York Times and ABC, got a lot of attention. Unlike Sober, which propagated via e-mail, Zotob spread via networks using a security flaw in Microsoft Windows.

Full article: ZDNet News