Gathering ‘Storm’ superworm poses grave threat to Windows PCs; Apple Macs unaffected

“The Storm worm first appeared at the beginning of the year… Although it’s most commonly called a worm, Storm is really more: a worm, a Trojan horse and a bot all rolled into one. It’s also the most successful example we have of a new breed of worm, and I’ve seen estimates that between 1 million and 50 million [Windows] computers have been infected worldwide,” Bruce Schneier reports for Wired.

“Worms like Storm are written by hackers looking for profit, and they’re different. These worms spread more subtly, without making noise. Symptoms don’t appear immediately, and an infected computer can sit dormant for a long time. 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,” Schneier reports.

“Storm has been around for almost a year, and the antivirus companies are pretty much powerless to do anything about it. Inoculating infected machines individually is simply not going to work, and I can’t imagine forcing ISPs to quarantine infected hosts. A quarantine wouldn’t work in any case: Storm’s creators could easily design another worm — and we know that users can’t keep themselves from clicking on enticing attachments and links,” Schneier reports.

“Redesigning the Microsoft Windows operating system would work, but that’s ridiculous to even suggest,” Schneier reports.

“Oddly enough, Storm isn’t doing much, so far, except gathering strength. Aside from continuing to infect other Windows machines and attacking particular sites that are attacking it, Storm has only been implicated in some pump-and-dump stock scams. There are rumors that Storm is leased out to other criminal groups. Other than that, nothing,” Schneier reports. “Personally, I’m worried about what Storm’s creators are planning for Phase II.”

More in the full article here.


  1. It would be nice to be smug about all this. We can feel happy we’re on Macs. But if someone wants to do something evil with this, that’s not comforting. For example, what if the creators of this sell access not to organized crime but to a certain organization of radical fundamentalist religious zealots with murky roots in the mountains along the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan? We depend on PCs for so much today. While it is sad that we are so dependent, it’s also chilling what could happen if all of them went down. Hard.

    The only salvation I can consider is that increasingly, people are buying and using Macs.

  2. “Redesigning the Microsoft Windows operating system would work, but that’s ridiculous to even suggest,’ Schneier reports.”

    Logic and greed are strange bedfellows. Ballmer has enough on his plate already. Like half of Seattle’s pork products.

    “Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of shit. That’s all it is, isn’t it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your customer’s sake, for your daughter’s sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product from me.”
    – Tommy Callahan

  3. Mac users could still get SPAM from these Windows boxes so it is still a hassle for us. I just started getting spam today as a result of this on my work PC. The sender’s email address has a coworkers email address or a client’s email address. When I went to block the email I found this out and now I’m not sure how to block this spam.

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