Another Windows Worm

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Another Windows Worm

Post by AdmiralThrawn on January 17th 2009, 05:09

As reported on the BBC new website:


Three million hit by Windows worm


A worm that spreads through low security networks, memory sticks, and PCs without the latest security updates is posing a growing threat to users.

The malicious program, known as Conficker, Downadup, or Kido was first discovered in October 2008.

Although Microsoft released a patch, it has gone on to infect 3.5m machines.

Experts warn this figure could be far higher and say users should have up-to-date anti-virus software and install Microsoft's MS08-067 patch.

"Right now, we're seeing hundreds of thousands of [infected]unique IP addresses
Toni Koivunen, F-Secure"

According to Microsoft, the worm works by searching for a Windows executable file called "services.exe" and then becomes part of that code.

It then copies itself into the Windows system folder as a random file of a type known as a "dll". It gives itself a 5-8 character name, such as piftoc.dll, and then modifies the Registry, which lists key Windows settings, to run the infected dll file as a service.

Once the worm is up and running, it creates an HTTP server, resets a machine's System Restore point (making it far harder to recover the infected system) and then downloads files from the hacker's web site.

INFECTED IPs WORLDWIDE
China 38,277
Brazil 34,814
Russia 24,526
India 16,497
Ukraine 14,767
Italy 13,115
Argentina 11,675
Korea 11,117
Romania 8,861
United States 3,958
United Kingdom 1,789
Source: F-Secure

Most malware uses one of a handful of sites to download files from, making them fairly easy to locate, target, and shut down.

But Conficker does things differently.

Anti-virus firm F-Secure says that the worm uses a complicated algorithm to generate hundreds of different domain names every day, such as mphtfrxs.net, imctaef.cc, and hcweu.org. Only one of these will actually be the site used to download the hackers' files. On the face of it, tracing this one site is almost impossible.

Speaking to the BBC, Kaspersky Lab's security analyst, Eddy Willems, said that a new strain of the worm was complicating matters.

"There was a new variant released less than two weeks ago and that's the one causing most of the problems," said Mr Willems

"The replication methods are quite good. It's using multiple mechanisms, including USB sticks, so if someone got an infection from one company and then takes his USB stick to another firm, it could infect that network too. It also downloads lots of content and creating new variants though this mechanism."

"Of course, the real problem is that people haven't patched their software. If people do patch their software, they should have little to worry about," he added.

Technicians have reverse engineered the worm so they can predict one of the possible domain names. This does not help them pinpoint those who created Downadup, but it does give them the ability to see how many machines are infected.

"Right now, we're seeing hundreds of thousands of unique IP addresses connecting to the domains we've registered," F-Secure's Toni Kovunen said in a statement.

"We can see them, but we can't disinfect them - that would be seen as unauthorised use."

Microsoft says that the malware has infected computers in many different parts of the world, with machines in China, Brazil, Russia, and India having the highest number of victims.

--------------------------------

The data war continues.

Keep an eye on your security programs and get the latest versions if possible.

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Re: Another Windows Worm

Post by Ratchet_Expert on January 17th 2009, 09:15

Wow....Bastards. Makes me wanna kill those guys who invented it and M$ for having a very low security in the basis of Windows.

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Re: Another Windows Worm

Post by AdmiralThrawn on January 17th 2009, 09:36

What was the last thing Microsoft did that received universal praise? I don't think XP should count, as I've had my share of problems with it.

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Re: Another Windows Worm

Post by Ratchet_Expert on January 17th 2009, 09:44

Luckily, I have NEVER had any problems with XP. Some games made me re-install it all over again, but generally it's been working perfectly. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same thing for Vista...

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Re: Another Windows Worm

Post by AdmiralThrawn on January 17th 2009, 09:48

I've had my fair share of issues with Vista, but most have been minor issues easily cleared up (set admin rights, restart, ect).

XP was about the same. Only once did it ever make me seriously consider destroying the computer itself: its was stuck in a boot loop caused by a corrupted system file. Fortunately, I was strong enough to restrain myself from fetching the hammer. Razz

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Re: Another Windows Worm

Post by Hamadah on January 17th 2009, 22:10

Vista is the worst windows I've ever seen, XP is much more better, except that there are some games that work only on Vista like: Halo 2
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