“A new worm that tries to take advantage of Windows users anxious to get their hands on security updates began making the rounds on Thursday, several antivirus firms confirmed,” Gregg Keizer reports for TechWeb News. “The worm, which goes by a variety of names, including Swen, W32/Swen@MM, Gibe, and W32/Gibe-F, can pose as an E-mail from Microsoft bearing a bogus security update as a file attachment.”
“It spreads in several ways, including the traditional mass-mailing method of stealing addresses from Outlook address books on compromised machines, but also propagates over Internet Relay Chat and peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa. Successful infections attempt to steal account information, including usernames and passwords,” Keizer reports. “The worm also exploits a 2-year-old vulnerability in Windows–for which a fix is available from Microsoft–that allows it to auto-execute on unpatched PCs. In those situations, the receiving system is infected even if its user doesn’t open the attached file.” Full article here.
Macintosh computers are unaffected. Windows-only users interested in adding a Mac OS X machine to their computing arsenal can get more information here. Apple Retail Store locations can be found here.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg on making the switch from Windows to Mac – September 18, 2003
ZDNet’s Coursey: Microsoft should start new OS from scratch to be more like Mac OS X – July 29, 2003
ZDNet asks: will Windows ever be as stable as the Mac? – April 21, 2003