New Windows worm spreading ‘hard and fast’ worldwide; Macintosh unaffected

“A new Internet worm that spread through Asia, Australia and Europe on Monday is expected to take hold in the United States on Tuesday as people go back to work after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The ‘Bagle’ or ‘Beagle’ worm arrives as an attachment to an e-mail with the subject line ‘Hi’ and ‘test : )’ in the body text. The worm is activated when a user clicks on the attached file,” Brian Krebs reports for The Washington Post.

“Once the attachment is opened, the worm tries to send copies of itself to all of the e-mail addresses that it finds on the victim’s computer, faking the return address with one randomly generated from those sifted from the infected PC. It also installs a program that lets attackers connect to infected machines, install malicious software or steal files,” Krebs reports. “The worm probably is the precursor to more evolved versions that could wreak havoc with small business and home Internet users, computer security experts said.”

“Carey Nachenberg, chief architect of Symantec Research Labs in Cupertino, Calif., said he expects the worm to continue its rapid spread as more Americans begin sorting through the e-mail that piled up in their in-boxes following the three-day weekend,” Krebs reports. ‘This is coming on hard and fast, and that’s usually a bad sign going into a shortened work week,’ Nachenberg said. Bagle has spread to computers in more than 100 countries, according to MessageLabs, an e-mail security company in New York City.”

Macintosh users are unaffected.

Full article here.

26 Comments

  1. This is getting serious. Sooner or later someone is going to do something truly malicious (financial, medical, safety related) and then the Windows apologists won’t be able to make excuses. MS is going to get major-league sued to the point of bankruptcy and some of its officers are going to be charged with willful negligence. MS has to be scared silly about this; they can’t be that dumb.

  2. I love surfing on my Mac. I can go visit all sorts of malicious web sites using Safari and guess what happens? I can actually see the content. No pop-up Windows, no viruses downloaded, and I can even see the meat that Windows-users can’t get to.

    Now if I could just figure out how to save an attachment from Outlook in Winblows.

  3. Oh great, can’t wait to go to work tomorrow. Oh wait, it won’t affect me, but it’ll be kinda fun watching all the IT geeks running around trying to keep up with this thing. They want job security, well, I guess they got it. Question is, who really wants THAT job?

  4. You guys love Mac’s?

    Well support our team, we are close to taking the 26th spot away from Silent PC Review on the Folding@home stats!

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  5. I got three emails today from my University….all said “testing” and all had an .exe file attached.
    Stupid windows.
    They killed all of those Mad Cow calves because they though they had the disease…..why can’t they do the same to PCs!

  6. “Sooner or later someone is going to do something truly malicious […]. MS is going to get major-league sued to the point of bankruptcy and some of its officers are going to be charged with willful negligence. MS has to be scared silly about this; they can’t be that dumb.”

    It could happen, but the BSA would fight it tooth and nail.

    Almost all software comes with a license that basically says, “You’re on your own.” Some bug causes your multi-million dollar proposal to be eaten? Too bad. You can’t sue the company that makes the software because, by using the software, you agreed with the license.

    I vaguely remember a lawsuit against Lotus many hundreds of years ago concerning a bug in 1-2-3 which caused some company’s calculations to go awry. They tried to sue Lotus and the courts found in Lotus’ favor.

    The BSA (Business Software Alliance) would fight it tooth and nail because companies don’t want that responsibility. Can you imagine Apple being sued whenever iMovie crashed?

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