Friday, November 2, 2007

Warning : Deadly Computer Worm On The Prowl In India

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.

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 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".

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