Deadly computer worm on the prowl

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[FONT=Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif] NEW DELHI: A potentially dangerous computer worm called Storm has been silently infecting computers in India, creating a pathway into the system which can be exploited, either to steal data or flood your e-mail account with spams.

Having enticing subjects lines, the spam mails containing the worm baits people into opening them. Those who open the attachment then unknowingly become part of a Botnet (a collection of compromised computers running programmes having worms under a common command for nefarious purposes).

Experts in India said that the virus till now, has been infecting computers without causing serious damage. However, because it's gathering strength, experts are considering it a serious threat.

They say the Botnet could, in the future, serve as an army of commandeered computers to be used by attackers without their owners' knowledge for a largescale global attack.

Over 70% of all e-mail traffic at present in India are spams. Over 25% of these carry the Storm worm. The number of Bot infected systems in India is 4,000 per month.

An expert said Storm travelled through spam and was showing no signs of slowing down. "It hasn't attacked till now. Yet, it is a disturbing trend. It continues to propagate and therefore grow in strength. This poses a serious threat because it may be preparing for a big attack during the festive season. Hackers could wreak serious damage if they unleash a denial-of-service attack with it. What's worse, you can't counter the attack by simply blocking a single server because its origin is distributed globally," the expert said.

A denial-of-service attack makes a computer resource unavailable to its intended users. It results in an internet site or service not functioning efficiently or at all, temporarily or indefinitely. One common method of attack involves saturating the target machine with spams such that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic.

A techie told TOI, "What makes Storm dangerous is that the content of the message keeps changing. It always has subject lines related to a contemporary occurrence somewhere in the globe."

Some of the subject lines have been "US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice has kicked German chancellor Angela Merkel", "a killer at 11, he's free at 21 and kills again", "British Muslims genocide", "log-in verification", "registration confirmation" and "happy labour day". The worm first appeared in January 2007 hiding in e-mail attachments with the subject line "230 dead as storm batters Europe".

Estimates say between 1-20 million computers have been infected worldwide. It spreads subtly, without making noise. Symptoms don't appear immediately and an infected computer can sit dormant for a long time. Storm recently also began attacking anti-spam sites focused on identifying it.

Experts, however, have chalked out a few steps by which you can protect your computer from Storm. "Update your anti-virus and anti-spyware regularly, install personal firewalls. Home computers are most vulnerable to Storm because these computers are less secure since every user is not a technie. Don't click on unsolicited e-mails which may have links with malicious websites," an expert said.


Cool as a CUCUMBAR ! ! !
thanx 4 the info ....... my eyes r already open BT worm kidhar se bhi ENTER ho sakta hai .......

come attack me, i am ready:D
if someone got a mail with a worm in it, please forward it to me:)
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