FBI warns of Valentines Day Storm Worm virus

The Storm Worm virus has capitalized on various holidays in the past

The FBI and the US Internet Crime Complaint Center today said that with Valentine's Day approaching, users should be on the lookout for spam e-mails spreading Storm Worm malware.

The Storm Worm virus has capitalized on various holidays in the last year by sending millions of e-mails advertising an e-card link within the text of the spam e-mail. Valentine's Day has been identified as the next target. Such email directs the recipient to click on a link to retrieve the electronic greeting card (e-card). Once the user clicks on the link, malware is downloaded to the Internet connected device and causes it to become infected and part of the Storm Worm botnet. A botnet is a network of compromised machines under the control of a single user.

Botnets are typically set up to facilitate criminal activity such as spam e-mail, identity theft, denial of service attacks, and spreading malware to other machines on the Internet, the FBI stated.

Over this past Christmas/New Year period, the Storm Worm morphed a couple times, changing the malicious file's name, shifting to new malware hosting servers and adding a rootkit to cloak the bot code from anti-virus software.

Others note another nefarious malware attack known as the Mega-D botnet, which offers discounted sexual enhancement pills to users, delivers a unreal 30 per cent more spam than Storm, is also out the waiting to be set free in malicious Valentines cards.

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Network World staff

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