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.

39 Comments

  1. Has there ever been a case where a virus infected user sued Microsoft for their incompetence regarding OS security?

    How come people sue Apple for reducing the iPhone price by $200 when companies are losing millions if not billions because of Windows’ poor security?

    Are people mad? Where has the world come to?

    The Storm worm is Microsoft fault. They should compensate infected users. Bill should give at least half (MDN Magic word BTW) his wealth in order to pay for these damages.

  2. “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 “

    Thats when Apple will release Mac OSX for PC’s, and Steve will get the Noble Peace prize

  3. @Don’t laugh:

    What’s to stop the hackers from selling it to some radical fundamentalist Christian group in Texas that’s working to bring about “The Rapture” so they can all get beamed up and chill with the sky fairy. America has it’s own version of the Taliban, otherwise known as “The Base” of the Republican party.

  4. All of Gates’ wealth is the result of criminal enterprise, he should give it back to the taxpayers of the world and go to prison.

    All of the US TLAs have backdoors in Windows for them, this is much of the problem, the ‘bad’ guys find them, except how can we be sure who are the ‘good’ guys? Search: – “operation northwoods”, – “operation gladio” -, – “smedley butler”.

    There are more religious zealouts in the US than most anywhere in the world, lots of them in government too, try this search – christian university robertson “white house” -. There are lots of peope (religious nutters) working for armaggedon to happen sooner so that they can experience ‘the rapture’ in their lifetime, search for – “end times” – and get past the smiley PR. Guess what, they blame it all on some guys they bomb and deliberately miss, surround except for an escape route, allow to fly out of US when all other air traffic is banned. It really is difficult to tell who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, the really bad guys are very good at it, and at persuading you that they are really the good guys.

    Confused? – you should be. Funny it is how people get upset over losing a few dollars but when some freedom is lost they don’t even notice. One of the most valuable things in life is freedom, do something to look after yours. For Windows users getting a Mac is a tiny step in the right direction.

    No doubt this comment will disappear quickly, copy and save – while you can. Defend your freedom, that which you have, while you can. Watch this movie, by an award winning hollywood director, free on the interweb tubes, “America: Freedom to Fascism”.

  5. “I’ve seen estimates that between 1 million and 50 million [Windows] computers have been infected”

    LOL. What kind of “estimates” have a range that’s a factor of 50? That’s not an estimate, it’s a wild guess. And not even a precise enough one to win you that jar of M&Ms;… (mmmm, 50 million M&Ms;… droool…)

  6. “Symptoms don’t appear immediately…….If it were a disease, it would be more like syphilis”

    Uhhhhh, yeah. That big nasty lookin’ ulcer on your schwance is a hard to miss symptom.

    Non-medical people should not write medical articles just like non-tech people should not write tech articles.

    Cubert
    (And, yes, people for the last time – I am a doctor and don’t just play one on TV)
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