Storm worm can befuddle NAC

Interop attendees hear of new threats, countermeasures … and retaliation

A newly discovered capability of the Storm worm could invalidate results churned out by NAC products, attendees at Interop New York learned last week.

This new trick is Storm's ability to interrupt applications as they boot up and either shut them down or allow them to appear to boot, but disable them, says Josh Corman, host protection architect for IBM/ISS.

Users will see that, for example, antivirus is turned on, but actually it isn't scanning for viruses, or as Corman puts it, it is brain dead. "It's running but it's not doing anything. You can brain-dead anything," he says.

NAC vendors acknowledged at the show that this capability could thwart the endpoint checking that their products perform. NAC scans devices before they gain admission to networks looking for the likes of properly patched operating systems and personal firewalls and antivirus software that is updated and turned on.

If the software seems turned on but is doing nothing that would invalidate the scan, say representatives of NAC vendors ConSentry, Juniper and McAfee. "This is an example of why pre-admission NAC is not enough," says Michelle McLean, director of marketing for Consentry.

Analyzing what devices attempt to do once they are on the network - post-admission NAC - is necessary as a backstop to pre-admission tests, says Vimal Solonki, senior director of product marketing for McAfee.

Storm also exemplifies the sophistication of new malware that retaliates against researchers studying it with the goal of stamping it out, Corman revealed at the show.

The worm can figure out which users are trying to probe its command-and-control servers, and it retaliates by launching distributed DoS attacks against them, shutting down their Internet access for days, he says.

"As you try to investigate [Storm], it knows, and it punishes," he says. "It fights back."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene and Jim Duffy

Network World
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?