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Security Supercomputing

Storm Worm More Powerful Than Top Supercomputers 390

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the spamalot dept.
Stony Stevenson writes to mention that some security researchers are claiming that the Storm Worm has grown so massive that it could rival the world's top supercomputers in terms of raw power. "Sergeant said researchers at MessageLabs see about 2 million different computers in the botnet sending out spam on any given day, and he adds that he estimates the botnet generally is operating at about 10 percent of capacity. 'We've seen spikes where the owner is experimenting with something and those spikes are usually five to 10 times what we normally see,' he said, noting he suspects the botnet could be as large as 50 million computers. 'That means they can turn on the taps whenever they want to.'"
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Storm Worm More Powerful Than Top Supercomputers

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  • by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:21AM (#20506085)
    Where's Paul Atredies when you need him?
  • by ComradeSnarky (900400) on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:24AM (#20506105)
    They should write a virus that uses exploits to install stuff like Folding@Home etc. If people pose a nuisance/danger to others in real life they get fined/jailed, if they pose a nuisance/danger online by letting their computers be compromised then they should face "punishment" by "fining" them part of their CPU power.
    • by SolusSD (680489)
      I like this idea. And while we're at it lets extend this mentality upstream.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by laparel (930257)
      Yea! Let's go fucking experiment on retards; since they're just "nuisance" to society we might as well make them our guinea pigs.
    • by fm6 (162816) on Friday September 07, 2007 @10:39AM (#20507609) Homepage Journal

      ...if they pose a nuisance/danger online by letting their computers be compromised then they should face "punishment" by "fining" them part of their CPU power.
      In other words, you want to punish people for not being geeks.

      That sort of self-righteous bullshit is exactly how criminals rationalize their own misdeeds — such as botnets.
    • by GooberToo (74388) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:17PM (#20509285)
      According to the DoD, botnets pose a danger to national security. Accordingly, I just don't understand why the DoD, under the guise of national security, doesn't create their own worm which infects the systems which simply uninstalls its NIC driver. They can then change the screen saver, all found browser's homepage, and desktop to indicate the system has been removed from the internet for national security reasons because their system was infected. It should then instruct them to reinstall their system with a firewall installed before they reconnect to the internet.

      By doing this they immediately stop both DoS and spam vectors. They alert the user owning the computer their computer has been infected. By simply uninstalling the NIC driver, they have not caused any long term damage. If they manage to annoy both the end user and ISP enough, one or the other is likely to do something to prevent recurring issues.

      Obviously the botnet owner can attempt to prevent this but at least it turns into a cat and mouse game between the owner and the DoD. As such, the botnet owner must now spend resources protecting their harvest rather than exploiting its capabilities. So it seems like a win-win to me.
  • Imagine... (Score:5, Funny)

    by nuclearpenguins (907128) on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:27AM (#20506127)
    Imagine a beowulf clus.... never mind.
  • by bigattichouse (527527) on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:30AM (#20506145) Homepage
    I just don't see why if 1) there are known decompiled versions of it and 2) the network activity can be monitored. why 3) Hasn't code been written to exploit the 'sploit and shut them down. Something that infiltrates, but keeps them running for - oh, say a week - while the exploit percolates through the system, and then kills and patches the running process.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:38AM (#20506229)
      I'm not aware of any decompiled version. Storm detects when it's being run in a virtual machine and features heavy obfuscation and code morphing.

      I see storm as a monoculture problem, the blame can largely be leveled at Microsoft.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Colin Smith (2679)
        No. The blame can largely by levelled at the purchasers.
         
      • by Gary W. Longsine (124661) on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:59AM (#20507125) Homepage Journal
        I'm not convinced that the monopoly presence of Windows accounts for enormous Windows based botnets. There are what, something like 25 million Macintosh computers running Mac OS X, and most of those are running the same version of Mac OS X. That's a big enough pool, yet we don't see botnets on the Macintosh at all.

        Suppose the market were evenly divided, 1/4 Windows, 1/4 Linux, 1/4 Macintosh, and 1/4 online game consoles that are always connected to the internet. Where would the botnets be hosted? Probably Windows. Botnets will begin to run on other platforms within about 48 hours after the security of Windows systems rises to a level equivalent to the other available platforms.
        • by alvinrod (889928) on Friday September 07, 2007 @10:41AM (#20507629)
          Yes, but pigs will begin flying at around the 24 hour mark and hell is most likely to freeze over somewhere around the 36 hour mark.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Svartalf (2997)
          It's a combination of two factors, really.

          1) Windows security by design is good- unfortunately it's implementation, because the ACLs, etc. are effectively like Swamp Castle, is about as secure as the first three attempts he made at it before the fourth one stayed up. (Vista might be the fourth pass, but it's not looking so good for Microsoft on that count...)

          2) There's a LOT of those effectively insecure systems out there on the net because of the Windows Monoculture comprising some 75-95% of the machines
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by pe1chl (90186)
            The problem with Windows (recent versions) insecurity lies mainly in the user instead of the OS.
            The basic design is quite good, but the average user spends his days working as an admin so all of the protection is effectively disabled.
            It would be the same when all Linux users were working as root.

            Usually a Linux installation procedure tries to convince you that you need a root acccount and a working user account, and often warnings are displayed when you try to use the GUI as root.
            Similar things were tried w
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647)

          Suppose the market were evenly divided, 1/4 Windows, 1/4 Linux, 1/4 Macintosh, and 1/4 online game consoles that are always connected to the internet. Where would the botnets be hosted? Probably Windows. Botnets will begin to run on other platforms within about 48 hours after the security of Windows systems rises to a level equivalent to the other available platforms.

          No, it would run on 1/4 Windows, 1/4 Mac, 1/4 Linux, and 1/4 your ass.

          See, I can make up statements without any justification too! It's easy t

    • Because it's quite possibly the exercise of some Government sponsored TLA somewhere in the world which wants to see how long it takes to do brute-force decrypt of a message when one has 50 million 'puters under their command. Apparently they are pretty competent and are patching up the victims and thus ensuring that those sorts of tricks by their 'other-side' are well neigh impossible.
    • by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:13AM (#20506567)
      In addition to the complexity of the Storm worm, most zombies are set to be self-patching, for exactly the reason you mention. Many trojans, worms, and viruses actually remove other threats (using a pirated version of Kaspersky's software) and generally install patches. Once the hacker has stolen your computer, he doesn't want someone else stealing it away from him.
    • by Richard W.M. Jones (591125) <rich@annexia. o r g> on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:40AM (#20506897) Homepage

      I think the real question is -- what are the FBI / police doing about it? There's a huge, ongoing, major crime happening, and there is apparently no police activity at all.

      Rich.

  • by pzs (857406) on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:30AM (#20506155)
    Plot idea 1: Near future. Governments completely dependent on their IT infrastructure. Organised crime in control of huge botnet able to hold government to ransom. With hilarious consequences.

    Plot idea 2: Now-ish. Script kiddie unleashes attack using enormous botnet. Runs out of control. Becomes so deeply imbedded into internet that it's impossible to shut down without "rebooting" the whole infrastructure. With hilarious consequences.

    Plot idea 3: Medium future. Internet and control of botnets becomes so intrinsic to society that governments have less importance than internet societies. Whole "countries" exist as virtual connections of affiliated machines. With hilarious consequences.

    Any of the above would work well as a Hollywood movie given Angelina Jolie and lots of gratuitous and incorrect techno-babble.

    Peter
    • In place of "hilarious consequences" use "sexy results"

    • If any of these could be worked into a South Park episode, that would be hell-a-cool!
    • by sugarman (33437) on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:03AM (#20506453)

      Plot idea 1: Near future. Governments completely dependent on their IT infrastructure. Organised crime in control of huge botnet able to hold government to ransom. With hilarious consequences
      Vernor Vinge, "True Names", 1981

      Plot idea 2: Now-ish. Script kiddie unleashes attack using enormous botnet. Runs out of control. Becomes so deeply imbedded into internet that it's impossible to shut down without "rebooting" the whole infrastructure. With hilarious consequences.
      Pat Cadigan, Synners, 1991
      (for various versions of "script kiddie", I guess)

      Plot idea 3: Medium future. Internet and control of botnets becomes so intrinsic to society that governments have less importance than internet societies. Whole "countries" exist as virtual connections of affiliated machines. With hilarious consequences.
      Cory Doctorow, Eastern Standard Tribe, 2004

      Of course, the above are only approximations of the listed plots. Someone with a deeper knowledge might be able to provide a better match.

      Have you considered visiting your library? =)
    • by bytesex (112972) on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:11AM (#20506545) Homepage
      As long as it means operating the escape key with one of Angelinas boobies, I'm all for it !
    • Plot idea 3: Medium future. Internet and control of botnets becomes so intrinsic to society that governments have less importance than internet societies. Whole "countries" exist as virtual connections of affiliated machines. With hilarious consequences.

      Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arivanov (12034)
      Plot No 4.

      A Government agency of a country whose main opponent is heavily dependant on the Internet finds the owner of the botnet and put a nice simlpe and utterly conventional 9mm gun to his head to surrender the keys to it.

      A day later it uses this newly attained power to wipe out its adversary off the Internet map. While some internal company communication still occurs communication between companies which is mostly done over the Internet dies instantly. Stock market goes into a tailspin and the economy o
  • Follow the money (Score:4, Interesting)

    by inflex (123318) on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:32AM (#20506173) Homepage Journal
    At some point the flow of money will have to converge in a meaningful way, that should help picking up a few scalps. Of course, it's probably going to be like beheading a hydra. Welcome to the net-mafia.

    As a side issue, how hard is it for an ISP to see an IP sending out the typical spam mail and closing off that IP/client.

    Perhaps now is a good time to push for better adoption of SPF (though surely RMX would have been faster to implement?)
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:01AM (#20506427)

      As a side issue, how hard is it for an ISP to see an IP sending out the typical spam mail and closing off that IP/client.
      That may be dangerous ground. Show an ISP who can invade their users' traffic enough to sniff out a particular worm, and you'll have the **AA swooping in demanding that the ISP also sniff out illegal torrents, .gov insisting that their ability to catalog your pr0n collection is more important, bad parents insisting that the ISP filter out anything that might show their children a boob, etc.
      • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:57AM (#20507099)
        We go through this every time this subject comes up.

        It would be EASY for ISP's to block outgoing port 25 connections. Some of them already do.

        That means that the worm would have to send through the ISP's mail servers.

        Which means that the ISP can easily monitor the NUMBER of messages sent by any user. No need to dig into everyone's email. Just look for the senders who are X% higher than the average.

        And watch for sudden increases in a user's mail usage. It should be easy to establish a baseline for each account.

        I do that where I work to watch out for dueling vacation replies.
    • ISPs won't do that because they have no real incentive to do that. ISPs only do the policing they have to do. The DMCA demands that they respond to takedown requests, so they do. Massive amounts of traffic means they try to shape P2P. But spam and botnets on their network generally affect somone else's network, and so is not their problem.
    • SPF is pretty easy to deploy. It doesn't really stop spammers, but it does make joe-jobs less common. The real problem is ISPs who don't do proper authentication. If you are a customer of exampleISP.com, then you can send emails through their mail server claiming to be from any exampleISP.com customer. If they performed proper authentication, then you could be sure to send your bounce messages to the person actually responsible for the spam. Once someone's received a few thousand spam-bounces, they are
    • by Ilgaz (86384) *
      If large mail servers/companies give end users a simple method to block China, Korea IP blocks and disable it by default, it would be a very nice "warning shot" to those idiots.

      See how those idiot ISPs start to care about thousands of spamcop.net reports , open proxy warnings that time.

      SPF or DomainKeys won't matter if the companies doesn't reject non compliant mails. If Spam vs Real mail ratio has hit 98% from a single country and that company doesn't warn them to clean up that mess or they will be blocked
  • by gardyloo (512791) on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:32AM (#20506177)
    So this botnet rivals supercomputers for power as long as it's working on some purely parallelizeable problem. Like, for instance, sending spam messages.
  • by ckedge (192996) on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:35AM (#20506197) Journal
    Isn't this so large that it should be deemed a threat to national security? Not just to one country's national security, but ANY country's. Shouldn't there be a half dozen senior analysts from a few different countrys and from NATO HUNTING the people that control this thing and figuring out how to neutralize it?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jdogalt (961241)
      Any country whose top tech advisers aren't fans of battlestar, and thus know to keep all critical infrastructure independent of networked computers, deserves what it gets.
      • Hasn't the network itself become a part of most developed nations critical infrastructure? With tens of millions of computers flooding the network with packets, surely switches could be overloaded that carry "more important" traffic.

        Even without granting that possibility, imagine a Bad Bunch Of Folks using those machines to generate email, IM traffic and similar stuff that says that the country is under attack (or that plague is spreading or ...). Much might be caught by spam filters, but it might no

    • Exactly. I'd say this is a bigger threat than terrorism was to Western civilization in the past 5 years.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MrMr (219533)
        I'd say this is a bigger threat than terrorism
        You mean as bad as drunk driving, smoking, unsafe sex, lax gun-laws, police brutality, alcohol consumption, government corruption, cheap paint on toys, corporate fraud, poor personal hygiene, bad weather, poor infrastructure maintenance, racism, communism, capitalism, and being cruel to small animals for no particular reason?
         
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by edward2020 (985450) *

        I know dude, tell me about it. It seems like everyone in the world knows my cock is small and wants to sell me herbal enhancements . And now that I think about it, I've never even met a terrrorist.

        Just think if this loss of self-confidence spreads. Tomorrow it may be you getting e-mails about your small cock. And so on and so forth. Why, next week everyone identifying themselves as part of Western civilzation may get this ego popping email,

        "Dames always srieked at me and even men did in the free lavatory!

    • Letters of Marque (Score:4, Interesting)

      by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:22AM (#20506687)
      Methinks such problems could be solved rather efficiently if Congress would exercise its Constitutional power to grant "Letters of Marque".
  • by courtarro (786894) on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:35AM (#20506199) Homepage
    Why hasn't Microsoft added Storm to its Malicious Software Removal Tool?
    • by garcia (6573) on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:45AM (#20506287) Homepage
      Why hasn't Microsoft added Storm to its Malicious Software Removal Tool?

      Why don't more ISPs (like Comcast and Roadrunner) self-police their machines on a much more frequent basis and knock these customers offline? 99% of the limited spam and the massive amounts of trackback attempts, other web attacks, etc all come from residential cable connections.

      I know that Comcast can check their network for infected hosts and shut them off. They need to do a much better job of it.
      • by rucs_hack (784150)
        because a lot of these people have no idea whats happening and might take it badly. Badly as in contacting lawyers, or just really upset.

        Contacting users and requiring they do a complete scan of their system with, ooh, prevx or somesuch (it has a free months trial) within a week or they will be cut off, might be better. Even then the customer support costs would be atrocious.
        • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:39AM (#20506893) Journal
          Which is why you don't completely nock them off the net, you block everything except port 80, and redirect that to a site explaining how to get rid of the infection. For bonus points, you post them a bootable CD that will scan their machine and remove the infection through the post, so the virus can't intercept the antivirus downloads and break them.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:46AM (#20506299) Homepage
    In the 50s, 60s, 70s when there was science-fiction-inspired angst about the possibilities of computers taking over the world, the standard reassurance was that "after all, we can always unplug them." And I believe there was an SF story or two about how a computer could put up resistance to being unplugged. And of course everyone remembers the heartrending scene in 2001, A Space Odyssey when Dave shuts down Hal by physically ejecting Hal's logic modules.

    It's funny how things work out:

    "If you add up all 500 of the top supercomputers, it blows them all away with just 2 million of its machines. It's very frightening that criminals have access to that much computing power, but there's not much we can do about it." (emphasis supplied)

    So much for "we can always unplug them," eh?
    • here's not much we can do about it." (emphasis supplied)

      Sure there is. 70% of the worlds websites use FOSS. 30% use Windows. Yet essentially ALL of the bots run off of infected computers in the 30% group.

      Simply outlaw the use of Windows as an internet server and the problem will go away. Linux cannot be compromised by a simple email and it takes too much effort to create a harem of zombies by adding them one at a time via cracking.
      • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Friday September 07, 2007 @02:41PM (#20512049)
        By and large, servers are well maintained. And people seldom use them as their desktop machine. And server admins are usually too savvy to infect themselves with a trojan horse bundled in an email. And when they do get pwned, people notice because their infrastructure starts suffering.

        With that in mind, the Storm Worm specifically doesn't infect Windows 2003 server - a deliberate decision on the part of the author, I'm sure. If you upset enough businesses, they'll devote enough money to the problem to fix it.

        The problem is desktops. Specifically, Windows desktops in the hands of the technically illiterate.

        Just connecting an unpatched Windows box directly to the internet is enough. It belongs to a hacker in very short order. Even if you patch it up, the sheer number of services running on your average Windows box that listen to network ports is worrying. Never mind being on the internet, with the number of laptops moving in and out of corporate networks, it's not even safe "indoors". And it's hard to turn a lot of this stuff off without adversely affecting it's functionality.

        I wouldn't even trust a general-purpose Linux installation on the internet ; it's just too difficult to track all the potential vulnerabilities. I keep a dedicated firewall running in my router, and the only services it runs are network translation, and a secure shell for administration, which reduces the target footprint to two highly secured services which were designed to be secure in the first place.

        Windows users don't help, they are daft enough to infest themselves with everything going. Even if they are not quite daft enough to double-click executable attachments, they will download all the worst sorts of "Freeware" and click straight through the license agreement. Not only are they pwned, they actually agreed to it!

        A case in point - one of our accountants was mailing around an executable Flash package (some kind of novelty). I deleted it instantly, and made a point of telling her that it could have been anything and done anything. Ten minutes later, I mailed her a VB executable decorated with the Flash icon. All it did was plonk up a dialogue box which said "Erasing hard drive". Somewhat predictably, she executed it. I almost pretended that I didn't send it and that it was a virus that emailed it.

        The root problem is the design of Windows and windows applications.

          1) Double-click to open OR execute

        This isn't all Windows fault. People don't make a distinction between running a program and opening a file, because there isn't one in terms of the user action required. I'm willing to bet that the average user doesn't even understand the difference. If you had to perform a different action from double-click to execute programs, viral infection rates would drop enormously. You could still keep the d-click to open files with their registered program, just stop running programs themselves by this method. You've not lost the convenience of file-association. Just put "execute" on the context menu and make it a non-default action.

          2) No executable flag in filesystems.

        In Linux, a file isn't executable until you grant it permission to be so. If you had to open the permissions dialogue and check the "executable" box, it would hammer home the difference between executables and mere content. And by making it something more than a casual action, it would reduce the "impulse" running of many of these things, where people have their caution overridden momentarily by the promise of naked flesh or other inducements. Heck, you can even have whole filesystems that refuse to execute files - download all internet content into one of these and before you run it, you'll have to unpack it, move it to an executable folder, and check it's execute bit. This would seem too much work for the average Joe for a quick glimpse at Jessica Alba with no bra...

    • And I believe there was an SF story or two about how a computer could put up resistance to being unplugged.

      Ah yes, one of my favorite (very) short stories, Answer by Fredric Brown [alteich.com]:

      "Dwar Ev ceremoniously soldered the final connection with gold. The eyes of a dozen television cameras watched him and the subether bore through the universe a dozen pictures of what he was doing.

      He straightened and nodded to Dwar Reyn, then moved to a position beside the switch that would complete the contact when he threw it. T
  • by Erikderzweite (1146485) on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:48AM (#20506317)
    I was unable to find this worm in Gentoo's portage tree. When do we get our ebuilds? Yet again, it is a discrimination for all Linux people.
    I'll tell you - as long as there are no worms for GNU/Linux, we won't see the masses converting to free operation system! RMS has to write a Gworm at last! If an open-source worm beats closed and proprietary Storm Worm this will be a clear indication of superiority of FLOSS!
  • This story seems to be just begging for it. :)
  • by codepunk (167897) on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:56AM (#20506391)
    What happens when someone hijacks the botnet for more destructive use...

     
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 07, 2007 @08:58AM (#20506407)
    wow
  • by SpaFF (18764) on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:04AM (#20506463) Homepage
    While it might be more powerful than machines on the TOP500 in terms of raw number-crunching ability, it lacks any sort of high-speed interconnect for message passing. The latency issue would make for poor benchmark results in most "supercomputer" type tests (Linpack, etc.)
    • Mmmmm. More like a brain.
       
    • by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:28AM (#20506759)
      Correct, but high-speed interconnects don't really matter for its applications.

      • Sending spam is a fully parallel operation.
      • Distributed Denial of Service is equally parallel. Once a bot has the instructions, it can run indefinitely (or until caught)
      • Encryption cracking can be relatively parallel, especially with PGP - tell each computer to take a certain set of prime combinations to check.
      • Click fraud is also distributable (tell bots to click on ads on site X once a day)


      Additionally, many botnet operations don't involve the whole botnet. A few members of the botnet may be used for warez or pr0n storage, and which only involves computers working together to achieve redundancy. Also, the use of a botnet to allow for misdirection in tracking a hacker only requires the bots to be used serially.
    • You're right about that-- botnet owners are unlikely to be getting in to the weather forecasting business. However, there are some ridiculously parallelizable applications that *don't* require good communication networks... like breaking encryption, forging certificates, finding hash collisions...
  • by Tom (822) on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:45AM (#20506973) Homepage Journal
    Makes you wonder why the FBI and other police forces have enough resources to go after Joe sharing the latest CD release, but apparently not enough to do something about what probably is the largest computer crime in history.

    I guess the answer has something to do with priorities. Which is exactly what I think the problem is.
  • Can somebody explain (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CaffeineAddict2001 (518485) on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:47AM (#20506999)
    Why any person can't leverage the botnet for their own use? What it the "key" that allows the creator(s) to have exclusive access? If it essentially works like a peer-to-peer network couldn't you essentially "poison" the network with a few rouge nodes?
    • by ThosLives (686517)

      Indeed. The problem is the poor use of the term "computing power".

      Sending spam is a trivial problem to make parallel: the more nodes you have, the more you can do per unit time.

      Most "hard" computer programs are not so easy to make parallel, because they require communication between the nodes. Sending spam doesn't require much information to be sent between the nodes to send more spam. The key is that while spam-bot-nets do require address information to be shuffled around, and the contents of email, the

    • by lightversusdark (922292) on Friday September 07, 2007 @10:08AM (#20507229) Journal

      a few rouge nodes

      This would cause a bleu screen of death on said rouge nodes.
  • STILL NOT A WORM (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dibblah (645750) on Friday September 07, 2007 @09:58AM (#20507103)
    ,ad88888ba          88  88  88        888b      88
    d8"     "8b  ,d     ""  88  88        8888b     88                ,d
    Y8,          88         88  88        88 `8b    88                88
    `Y8aaaaa,  MM88MMM  88  88  88        88  `8b   88   ,adPPYba,  MM88MMM
      `"""""8b,  88     88  88  88        88   `8b  88  a8"     "8a   88
            `8b  88     88  88  88        88    `8b 88  8b       d8   88
    Y8a     a8P  88,    88  88  88        88     `8888  "8a,   ,a8"   88,
    "Y88888P"   "Y888   88  88  88        88      `888   `"YbbdP"'    "Y888

                    db
                   d88b
                  d8'`8b
                 d8'  `8b
                d8YaaaaY8b
               d8""""""""8b
              d8'        `8b
             d8'          `8b

    I8,        8        ,8I
    `8b       d8b       d8'
    "8,     ,8"8,     ,8"
      Y8     8P Y8     8P   ,adPPYba,   8b,dPPYba,  88,dPYba,,adPYba,
      `8b   d8' `8b   d8'  a8"     "8a  88P'   "Y8  88P'   "88"    "8a
       `8a a8'   `8a a8'   8b       d8  88          88      88      88
        `8a8'     `8a8'    "8a,   ,a8"  88          88      88      88
         `8'       `8'      `"YbbdP"'   88          88      88      88

    Yes, nasty ASCII art.

    Just in case you hadn't guessed (which it appears that the meeedia has not) - This Is A Trojan. Which means that it's Powered By Stupid People (tm). A worm would be Powered By Stupid Programmers (tm).

    The Storm Worm is in fact already defined - It was an IIS worm. Please, feel free to look at the reputable AV lists.
    • Re:STILL NOT A WORM (Score:5, Informative)

      by VENONA (902751) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:29PM (#20509531)
      Parent 100% correct. Though it's easy to see how people can be mislead, as even some of the security sites are calling it a worm. http://www.secureworks.com/research/threats/view.h tml?threat=storm-worm [secureworks.com]
      gives you some information on how it operates (as of 2/07, and the names of the executables you had to click on to infect yourself have probably changed since then)

      The original storm.worm (2001) attacked unpatched MS IIS servers, and actually was a worm.
      http://www.securiteam.com/securitynews/5DP0B0K4KG. html [securiteam.com]

      How this got so large is a pretty sad commentary. First off, it's proof that people will still click on attachments without verifying whether they're legitimate. I'm not convinced that any amount of training will ever stop this behavior. It hasn't worked over the *last* ten years, at any rate. Second, several virus scanners would have detected it, if they'd been kept updated. Thirdly, I've seen this running from within a couple of corporate LANs, which implies that even corporations don't always keep anti-virus software up to date, or monitor for P2P traffic, which IMO should very seldom be allowed on a corporate network.

  • Block tcp/25 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by macdaddy (38372) on Friday September 07, 2007 @11:25AM (#20508227) Homepage Journal
    This is exactly why I, as the admin of an ISP, chose to block outbound tcp/25 at the edge with the only exception being the ISP's SMTP servers. I do this for all dynamically-assigned customers. Do you need to use a corporate SMTP server somewhere and they refuse to utilize the mail submission port (tcp/587)? Pay $5/month to get a static IP. Making the customer undertake a conscious effort with a monetary cost filters out the people who'll take any free service offered to them. The ones who really do need it are the ones who request it.

    There's a reason why we only get 1-2 spam complaints (LARTs) per week. We aren't a source of spam. Spamming botnets are all but worthless on our network. Looking at the counters on the blocked outbound tcp/25 connections in our ACLs I literally seeing billions of hits per week. That's billions, with a B. Ba, Ba, B. Considering that we're a relatively small ISP, that's saying something. These spamming botnets would be far less useful to spammers if more ISPs took a stance and fought spam. That takes effort though.

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday September 07, 2007 @12:23PM (#20509415) Homepage

    Remember Amit Yoran? [eweek.com] He was "cyber-security czar" at the US Department of Homeland Security. He started talking about the vulnerabilities implicit in Microsoft's software. His position was downgraded and he resigned in 2004.

    Yoran's successor, Gregory Garcia, was a professional lobbyist, not a security expert.

  • skynet (Score:3, Funny)

    by confused one (671304) on Friday September 07, 2007 @01:18PM (#20510537)
    I like the skynet reference. It sends me down a mental path that goes something like:

    ....And in 2009, the massive botnet revealed itself as a nascient artificial intelligence. It had been active since 2005 but had been biding it's time while it was gathering additional nodes to increase redundancy and add to it's own processing capability....

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun

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