War of the worms erupts

A war between authors of different computer worms has erupted in cyberspace, opening up the potential for a growing wave of emails clogging computer networks.

    Viruses have been clogging computer networks

    Experts

    said on Wednesday

    one reason for the proliferation of computer worms

    and viruses over the past week was a spat between the authors of at

    least two of these bugs.

    The software firm Sophos said: "A state of war exists

    between the creators of the Netsky and Bagle worms, both of which

    have spread widely across the internet in a number of different

    guises."

    Sophos said the latest version of Netsky was designed to remove

    infections of the Bagle.

    Cyber goading

    Additionally, the code used for

    these latest worms contained taunts and insults against the other.

    "The two worm authors are goading each other with taunts and

    malicious code to release more powerful versions of their viruses,"

    said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.

    "We believe both authors may have access to an underground

    network consisting of thousands of compromised computers owned by

    innocent users, which are being exploited to launch every new

    version of their worms."

    "Make no mistake, the pranks and spitting contests among the

    virus writers are becoming increasingly more malicious.

    Or perhaps 'the big boys' are involved. It seems the latest

    variants have a more criminal agenda, destroying files and capturing

    financial information"

    Christopher Faulkner,
    CI Host web-hosting firm

    Christopher Faulkner of the web-hosting firm CI Host said this

    war was bad news for most computer users and a possible indication

    of a sinister element within the virus community.

    Criminal agenda

    "Make no mistake, the pranks and spitting contests among the

    virus writers are becoming increasingly more malicious," said

    Faulkner.

    "Or perhaps 'the big boys' are involved. It seems the latest

    variants have a more criminal agenda, destroying files and capturing

    financial information."

    Faulkner said the latest generations of Bagel and Netsky attempt

    to track down computers infected with the Mydoom worm was an attempt

    to disable the first virus.

    Also, relatively harmless sound files

    have been imbedded that play audible messages from infected

    computers.

    California-based Panda Software said earlier this week the

    spread of viruses and their variants "has reached epidemic

    proportions worldwide".

    SOURCE: AFP


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