Storm worm, the latest virus to hit e-mail users in huge numbers, appears in the form of e-mails that contain links to fraudulent Websites whose servers are infected with a generic downloader. Storm worm then adds the infected computers to the Website’s “botnet" leaving them vulnerable to future virus infections at a later time.
The Storm worm is sent in the form of spam electronic greeting cards from various anonymous senders, with messages such as, “You have an e-card from a friend”…”from a neighbor,” etc. The e-cards appear to come from legitimate Websites with names such as greetingcards.com, bluemountaincards, etc. When the card is opened and linked to the Website the spam message installs root kits into the computers it infects so that it can build a botnet of infected computers.
The attacks have been occurring in huge numbers since the July 4th holiday, and rival a similar Storm worm that was launched last December in the form of phony e-cards that were sent just in time for the holidays.
Reports from software security companies indicate that they have tracked at least 200 million spam emails of the Storm worm type last week. On Thursday of last week alone the security company, Potini, tracked 42 million potential virus laden e-mails that were sent by Storm worm authors.
The Storm worm generators have also been sending fake e-mails warning users of virus or spyware infections detected on their computers. When the users click on the message to link them to the software that is supposed to protect them from the virus the users are instead linked to a malicious Website where their computer is infected with a virus.
Users take heed: don’t click on e-mails with attachments that you aren’t expecting, nor open e-mails from senders that you do not know. Even e-mails with attachments from those you do know can contain viruses, depending on their origin.
Do install a reliable anti-virus program and keep updates current. If you’ve ever had your hard drive completely destroyed/made useless by a computer worm you’ll understand how important this warning is.