Monday, October 15, 2007

Computers! Zombies! Syphilis!

Storm Virus Inspires CyberTerror

John Kerry seeks protection from Storm Virus

"Turns Your PC into a Zombie!"

"The Syphilis of Computers"

"Eat's Your Computer's Brain!

A nasty computer virus proves hard to eradicate. It also inspires great quotes from computer geeks. From The Star:
This year's NFL season arrived with a twist for millions of computer users, who discovered emails in their inboxes advertising free "online game trackers" and links to an official-looking website adorned with the National Football League's logo.

Fans who tried to download the program from the compromised website unwittingly infected their computers with a version of the Storm Worm, a malicious piece of software that, despite being flagged more than half a year earlier, has proven to be remarkably resilient.

Once installed, the "malware" drafts the unwitting user's computer into a vast army of infected machines that can be remotely instructed to spread Storm Worm, shut down Internet sites or pump out millions of spam emails promoting everything from stock market scams to sketchy pharmaceuticals – usually without the user's knowledge.
Storm makes for great copy, this time it's described as creating "zombies"
Estimated to have infected at least a million machines, the Storm Worm is believed to have been created in Russia and so far appears to be focused on building a large botnet, a network of hijacked "zombie" computers.

A look at Storm as urban legend?
In a recent column in Wired Magazine, Bruce Schneier, a security specialist and author,
dubbed the worm the "future of malware" and compared it to a difficult-to-detect but potentially deadly illness. "Symptoms don't appear immediately, and an infected computer can sit dormant for a long time," he wrote. "If it were a disease, it would be more like syphilis, whose symptoms may be mild or disappear altogether, but which will eventually come back years later and eat your brain."
It morphs?

As well, the code used by the Storm Worm to spread itself morphs constantly, making typical anti-virus techniques less effective.
Storm reappears and causes an outbreak of descriptive language throughout cyberspace. Reading all the labels almost turns one into a zombie.


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