198. The Virus Day


We all know that love is a bug and the persons who get bitten by it become love-sick! But how many of us know that in the name of love and lovely greeting cards, millions of mighty viruses are allowed entry into as many systems, causing world-wide havoc and misery?

Look at these amazing figures!

Internet Crime Complaint Center logs a million cyber grievances! It accounts for one million infected Personal Computers. The financial loss due to these viruses exceed 20 million U.S $s! Last but not the least, over a million “Botnet” victims has been identified by the FBI Bot Roast.

The FBI had forewarned about the Valentine Day’s viruses and the imminent attack by The Storm Worm! Storm Worm is not a worm at all. It appeared for the first time in January 2007. It is in fact a “BOT” used to connect all such infected computers in a world wide network called “Botnet”.

The Internet Bots are also known as web robots. A Bot is a soft ware application that can run automated tasks over the internet. A Bot excels while performing tasks which are both simple and repetitive-at an unimaginable speed.

Using a Bot, a person can deliver personal media across the web, from multiple sources. This way a network called Botnet is created which can be controlled by a single person. One common command can be sent to thousands of computer with the speed of a lightning.

The spam E mail directs the recipient to click on a link to retrieve a greeting card. As the person clicks on the link, a malware gets downloaded into the device connected to the internet. The infected device becomes a part of the Botnet, under the control of an unscrupulous cyber criminal.

A Botnet is setup most often with criminal intentions like identity thefts and for spreading out more malwares. Each of the malwares becomes “A Trojan horse” when it manages to enter a system.

The Storm worm thrives on E greeting cards, circulated for the various holidays and celebrations. It is a mighty weapon in the hands of its creator–even though it is named deceptively as a Worm!

The number of attack mails from January 2007 (when the storm worm first appeared) to the end of May 2007 was 70,000. But the number of attack mails had crossed 20 million during the next two months. In a more recent worm flood, there were 120 million attack mails in a short span of mere five days.

The fight against the Storm worm seems to be getting out of hand, since it is specifically designed to infect as many end-user-systems as possible and bring then under the Botnet control.

The earlier campaigns against the Storm Worm lasted only for a few weeks. But the latest Storm Worm related generations are changing faster than ever before. New spasm are launched almost everyday!

Better beware of the Love-Bug and the seemingly harmless Storm Worm. You may receive a lovely E greeting card only to end up becoming a victim (of a Botnet) with a broken heart.

Visalakshi Ramani

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