Insidious Windows virus threatens business networks worldwide; Macintosh unaffected

“A disgruntled hacker with a personal grudge against Symantec, which provides anti-virus software to leading Fortune 500 companies, could be behind a new, crippling computer virus that’s already hit a division of at least one big U.S. corporation on Thursday,” Parija B. Kavilanz reports for CNNMoney.

Kavilanz reports, “If it spreads, technology experts warn the latest strains of the insidious RINBOT computer virus could hijack network systems of businesses worldwide.”

Kavilanz reports, “Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant with Boston-based IT security firm Sophos, said his company has been aware of ‘a number’ of new versions of the RINBOT or DELBOT virus produced since Feb. 15. ‘We believe this latest strain is the 7th version of RINBOT which first emerged in March 2005,’ Cluley said.”

“According to Cluley, this version is designed to exploit security vulnerabilities embedded in anti-virus software,” Kavilanz reports. “‘Traditionally hackers always went after Microsoft’s anti-virus programs. But now they’re increasingly targeting other commonly used programs such as Symantec programs and others,’ he said.”

“Cluley said this strain appears to be hitting MS SQL servers. It looks for networks that run the Microsoft (Charts) Windows operating system, including Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT and Windows XP. It then spreads through the network by manipulating ‘weak’ spots such as simple passwords,” Kavilanz reports. “Once it’s in, Cluley said the virus quickly spreads and takes over many computers with the intention of turning the network into a botnet, or a ‘zombie’ network.”

Kavilanz reports, “Turner Broadcasting System, a division of Time Warner (Charts) and parent of CNN and CNNMoney.com, confirmed that its systems were hit by a virus Thursday.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’ll just let the related articles below (edited due to excessive length) do the talking.

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28 Comments

  1. This story seems to have taken a while to surface. The broadcaster I work at was hit by this virus last Thursday 22 February, and the IT guys and Symantec have been working like mad to contain it. It crippled the Windows network to the point that people were sharing files by running USB keys back and forth.

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