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[ISN] Worm paves way for crippling DDoS attack
From: InfoSec News (isnc4i.org)
Date: Mon Mar 10 2003 - 03:49:24 CST
By Patrick Gray
10 March 2003
A new worm that leaves behind two Trojan horse programs has begun
spreading over the Internet, and may be paving the way for a crippling
distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.
Although the experts are not yet rating this worm as a high-risk to
users, the technical make-up of the Trojans it leaves behind is of
concern. They consist of a commonly used piece of network
administration software called Virtual Network Computing (VNC), and an
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) "bot".
The VNC component allows an attacker to connect to an infected system
and control it as if they were in front of it. They have full access
through a graphical user interface.
The IRC bot, when activated, connects to a remote server and waits for
commands, which could mean that infected systems are going to be used
for a massive DDoS attack.
This worm, unlike others such as Klez, requires no user interaction to
spread - it exploits common passwords, such as "password" and
"computer", in share directories in Windows NT/2000/XP machines and
hence spreads automatically.
However because the virus attacks through weak share directory
passwords, the effect on corporations has been minimal because share
directories are typically firewalled.
Daniel Zatz, a security spokesman from Computer Associates, says that
they haven't received any reports of their customers being infected
"Very little has been reported to the [anti-virus] vendors
themselves... I haven't spoken to any customers that have been
impacted yet," he said.
Aside from potential DDoS implications, Zatz says that end users may
be stung through identity theft - even a novice malicious hacker can
access an infected system with ease.
"This is one of the ways that identity theft occurs," he said.
Despite this, Melbourne based security consultant Adam Pointon says
that the worm is hitting home users hard.
"It's been increasing threefold over the last few days," he said.
The SANS Institute's Internet Storm Centre, a research group that
monitors the Internet for attacks, have lifted their alert status from
green to yellow.
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