Storm Worm Continues to Scare

Dennis Faas's picture

With Halloween fast approaching, there will no doubt be plenty of scary little things wandering around the streets in coming weeks. However, for a significant number of web users the scares have been going on for some time, and may not stop by November 1st.

The "Storm Worm" has been having a thundersome impact on the web for some time now. It made its infamous debut by sucking in National Football League fans unwise enough to click on an email promising "free online game trackers" for pool or other purposes. The advertisement led directly to a website that appeared legitimate, but instead contained only poison-tipped links. Fans who downloaded the program found that it hardly enhanced their football-watching experience, but instead slammed them with a nasty piece of malicious software.

So, what's the purpose of the Storm Worm?

Although it's been out-and-about for six months or so, the Storm Worm hasn't really made big news. That's the genius of it; by remaining an undercurrent, the Storm Worm is steadily making its creators very rich by allowing them to take direct control of user systems.

According to Symantec Corporation's Dean Turner, "The threat environment now is dominated by profit...It's not that the hackers have all of a sudden turned into a bunch of criminals, it's that the criminals are finally starting to leverage the technology available to them." (Source:

And, that seems to be the main worry within the security software community. As the rewards for hacking go up, so too does the interest. That means more professional hackers are becoming involved in the craft every year, heck, every day. All it really takes for a virus to proliferate is the penetration of a trusted site or email name, giving the bad guys some legitimacy in a web world that is sorely lacking it. (Source:

How does the Storm Worm fit into "modern" hacking?

As you might be able to tell from its NFL strategy, the Storm Worm has ushered in a new way to dupe you. Although email fraud is becoming more and more professional (spelling errors are no longer a common trait), the best hackers now use trusted websites to convince a user. One good-looking program, one pretty site, and a download is a cinch.

Getting something like the Storm Worm off your system, isn't.

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