Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

'Storm' Spam Surges, Infections Climb

The "Storm worm" that blasted across the Internet late last week spread Monday as security companies repeated their warnings and raised alert levels to new highs.

Actually a Trojan downloader, the payload has been given a variety of names by antivirus vendors, including Peacomm (Symantec) and Troj/Dorf-Fam (Sophos). It arrives in widely spammed messages with several possible subject heads and as a number of differently named executable files.

Its nickname comes from one of the original spam subject heads: "230 dead as storm batters Europe."

After an initial spam blast early Friday that produced infections worldwide, the Trojan's impact fell sharply. Later spam runs, however, dumped more infected messages into in-boxes and duped an increasing number of users to launch the files and thus compromise their computers.

"This looks like a worm because of the volume of e-mail, even though it's a Trojan," says Dave Cole, the director of Symantec's security response team. "We're on spam run No. 4 now, with millions of messages having been sent so far."

  • 1