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Dueling Hackers Sparked Bagle, Netsky Worm Blitz

Security analysts are asking themselves whether the wave of malicious worms that began traversing the Internet Friday and continued their blitz Tuesday was a coordinated attack or mischievous coincidence.

No question it has been a deluge of worms. Seven variations of Bagle and two of Netsky surfaced in the last five days. Was the flood just happenstance? Or was there something more devious behind the surge?

The answer, said security experts, is a bit of both, with some fighting over hacker turf thrown in for good measure.

"There's no evidence of any connection between the authors of these two worms," said Chris Belthoff, a senior security analyst with Sophos. "There's no master plan here."

Vincent Gullotto, vice president of McAfee's AVERT virus research team, agreed, to a point. "It's not some attempt to destroy the world, but I see it as clearly concerted," he said.

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