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Thread: 'Sobig' Virus Could Be Spam Ploy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    'Sobig' Virus Could Be Spam Ploy

    The quickly spreading virus that stormed the Internet this week could allow spammers to hijack hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide and use them to launch barrages of unwanted junk e-mail.
    Story Here...

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Hey i found this website on that Sobig worm. Looks like a very smart feller just wasted his talent on this.

    Windows e-mail worm Sobig.F, which is currently the most widespread worm in the world, has created massive e-mail outages globally since it was found on Tuesday the 18th of August -- four days ago. The worm spreads itself via infected e-mail attachments in e-mails with a spoofed sender address. Total amount of infected e-mails seen in the Internet since this attack started is close to 100 million.

    However, the Sobig.F worm has a surprise attack in its sleeve. All the infected computers are entering a second phase today, on Friday the 22nd of August, 2003. These computers are using atom clocks to synchronize the activation to start exactly at the same time around the world: at 19:00:00 UTC (12:00 in San Francisco, 20:00 in London, 05:00 on Saturday in Sydney).

    On this moment, the worm starts to connect to machines found from an encrypted list hidden in the virus body. The list contains the address of 20 computers located in USA, Canada and South Korea.

    "These 20 machines seem to be typical home PCs, connected to the Internet with always-on DSL connections," says Mikko Hypponen, Director of Anti-Virus Research at F-Secure. "Most likely the party behind Sobig.F has broken into these computers and they are now being misused to be part of this attack."

    The worm connects to one of these 20 servers and authenticates itself with a secret 8-byte code. The servers respond with a web address. Infected machines download a program from this address -- and run it. At this moment it is completely unknown what this mystery program will do.

    F-Secure has been able to break into this system and crack the encryption, but currently the web address sent by the servers doesn't go anywhere. "The developers of the virus know that we could download the program beforehand, analyse it and come up with countermeasures," says Hypponen. "So apparently their plan is to change the web address to point to the correct address or addresses just seconds before the deadline. By the time we get a copy of the file, the infected computers have already downloaded and run it."

    Right now, nobody knows what this program does. It could do damage, like deleting files or unleash network attacks. Earlier versions of Sobig have executed similar but simpler routines. With Sobig.E, the worm downloaded a program which removed the virus itself (to hide its tracks), and then started to steal users network and web passwords. After this the worm installed a hidden email proxy, which has been used by various spammers to send their bulk commercial emails through these machines without the owners of the computers knowing anything about it. Sobig.F might do something similar -- but we won't know until 19:00 UTC today.

    "As soon as we were able to crack the encryption used by the worm to hide the list of the 20 machines, we've been trying to close them down," explains Mikko Hypponen. F-Secure has been working with officials, authorities and various CERT organizations to disconnect these machines from the Internet. "Unfortunately, the writers of this virus have been waiting for this move too." These 20 machines are chosen from the networks of different operators, making it quite likely that there won't be enough time to take them all down by 19:00 UTC. Even if just one stays up, it will be enough for the worm.

    The advanced techniques used by the worm make it quite obvious it's not written by a typical teenage virus writer. The fact that previous Sobig variants we're used by spammers on a large scale adds an element of financial gain. Who's behind all this? "Looks like organized crime to me," comments Mikko Hypponen.

    F-Secure is monitoring the Sobig.F developments through the night on Friday the 22nd. Updates will be posted to Sobig.F's virus description at http://www.f-secure.com/v-descs/sobig_f.shtml

    About F-Secure

    F-Secure Corporation is the leading provider of centrally managed security solutions for the mobile enterprise. The company's award-winning products include antivirus, file encryption and network security solutions for major platforms from desktops to servers and from laptops to handhelds. Founded in 1988, F-Secure has been listed on the Helsinki Exchanges since November 1999. The company is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, with the North American headquarters in San Jose, California, as well as offices in Germany, Sweden, Japan and the United Kingdom and regional offices in the USA. F-Secure is supported by a network of value added resellers and distributors in over 90 countries around the globe. Through licensing and distribution agreements, the company's security applications are available for the products of the leading handheld equipment manufacturers, such as Nokia and HP.

    Sorry for the Very long post but for some reason i couldnt get the page to link. I believe the source is from Business Wire i found the link to it on Hardocp.com

    the Open Source model doesn\'t offer any great benefit in
    terms of reliability and security. -Bill Gates

  3. #3
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Not that it matters much... but the source is actually...


    Let the countdown begin?!

  4. #4
    AO French Antique News Whore
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Maybe a good virus who delete user hard disk will help them understand a computer need to maintant like a car!!
    -Simon \"SDK\"

  5. #5
    AntiOnline Senior Member souleman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Flint, MI
    hahaha, looks like the worm killed itself...


    19.00 was almost 3 hours ago

    you know what else is kinda funny....
    not sure if anyone pointed this out or not
    The 'From:' field is filled with an address found from the infected system.
    If no address is found, it will use "admin@internet.com"
    ummm, jupiter media owns internet.com coincidence?
    \"Ignorance is bliss....
    but only for your enemy\"
    -- souleman

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Im sure whatever it was it wouldnt be good, but a tiny part of me *wanted* the worm to succeed. <sigh>, now i shall be forever wondering what that mystical program actually did..

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    [pong]i have all the details of this thing but any how thanks for that long post[/pong]

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