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17 January 2008, 16:15

New Storm worm wave sweeping the internet

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A number of antivirus vendors have reported a new wave of Storm worm activity currently sweeping through in-boxes. The worm's authors seem, however, to have mistimed the latest wave of e-mails, which are disguised as love letters - but too late for Christmas and too early for Valentine's Day. Should users nevertheless fall for the worm's tricks and click on the link included in the e-mail, they will find themselves on a website showing a huge throbbing heart. They will then be invited to download a file (WITH_LOVE.EXE) containing the worm.

Any user running this file is likely to find that their computer has become the latest botnet recruit. Even antivirus software may offer little protection, since vendors are not able to keep up with malware signatures and not all products offer reliable behavioural blocking. Programs such as Norton Anti-Bot and Trend Micro's beta version of RUBotted may help identify botnet activity on your PC.

In recent months there have been numerous seasonal versions of the Storm worm. At Halloween, the e-mails promised dancing skeletons and Christmas saw stripshow.exe promising to conjure up bare skin on monitor screens. So it can be assumed that various versions of Storm worm will continue to harass users on big occasions for the foreseeable future. Easter is probably already on the malware authors' to-do list and Super Bowl Sunday could also feature.

As ever, users receiving e-mails containing executable attachments or links to websites should proceed with caution and should never open untrusted files so presented. Tips on protection from malware can be found on heise Security's anti-virus pages.

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