Symantec: Storm Trojan worst outbreak since 2005

Symantec said that the Storm Trojan has now infected 300,000 computers

Malicious software that was sent out in millions of spam messages over the weekend has now infected about 300,000 computers, making it the worst malware outbreak since 2005, Symantec said Monday.

The so called "Storm Worm" e-mail messages first started appearing last Wednesday, advertising attached news reports on topics like "230 Dead as storm batters Europe," or "U.S. Secretary of Sate Condoleeza Rice has kicked German Chancellor."

The attachments have names such as "Full Story.exe" or "Full Video.exe." Once they are launched, these files install malicious software that then waits to receive further instructions over the Internet.

The malware is not actually a worm, however, and infected PCs do not immediately start spreading the software to other computers. Instead, Storm has been spreading more rapidly over the past few days as its creators have pumped out more and more malicious e-mail messages.

"Over the weekend it really kicked into high gear," said Patrick Martin, senior product manager with Symantec Security Response.

The last time malicious software spread this quickly was in May 2005, when the Sober.O mass-mailling worm affected a similar number of systems, Martin said.

The latest versions of the worm include similarly provocative news headlines and malicious attachments, but the criminals have added a twist over the past few days: the text of the e-mail messages now contains glowing reviews of penny stocks, apparently designed to fuel "pump and dump" stock scams.

Some of the e-mail messages have also been changed to prey on the romantic, security vendor F-Secure warned. Recent versions of these Trojan e-mails have contained subject lines such as "A Bouguet of Love," "A Day in Bed Coupon," or "A Monkey Rose for You."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?