Security alert: 'Valentine's Day' Storm gives love a bad name

The latest storm worm is delivering Valentine’s Day themed executable names as attachments – for example ‘withlove.exe’ -- in e-mail messages straight from the heart with subjects such as “I would dream” and “Memories of you”.

Valentine's Day is less than a month away, and already the special messages are flowing in. But before you click on an e-mail from a secret admirer, security vendors are warning that a new variant of the storm worm is taking advantage of star-crossed lovers and the lovelorn.

The latest storm worm is delivering Valentine's Day themed executable names as attachments -- for example 'withlove.exe' -- in e-mail messages straight from the heart with subjects such as "I would dream" and "Memories of you".

Security vendors identified the new variant of the storm worm in recent days, and while it comes from the same family as the botnet Net building Storm Trojan, it's called a worm as it has exhibited worm like characteristics.

"Storm is basically self replicating and goes everywhere. The storm worm -- once it infects a PC -- will go through every file to find e-mail addresses," said Simon Clausen, chief executive officer of PC Tools. "When it gets these addresses it will send itself out to those people's using these e-mails."

Security company, PC Tools warns consumers that the worm delivers rootkits and maintains control of a system via peer-to-peer communications (p2p). This type of threat has been repeatedly appearing over the last 12 months disguised in e-mails targeting a variety of world events and popular holidays such as Christmas. Storm is actively being developed by the hackers distributing it. The Storm worm today versus the storm worm a year ago is a very different threat.

So this new variant was bound to happen; just don't let it happen to you. And the usual advice applies. Don't click on e-mail links. If you get a suspicious e-mail -- especially from someone you don't know, then the best way to remove it, if it is in your inbox, is to put it in the trash.

Clausen says consumers need to be aware that clicking on the link will immediately infect your PC. "If you click on the URL and go to the Web site, then you are already infected. Once you click on the URL a Java script runs, downloads and installs a rootkit, and you won't easily find it on your PC as it is hidden, although you might see an increase in hard drive activity as it searches through your files."

"Interestingly, we witnessed a variant of the worm dropping files like "burito.ini" and "burito5e84-1216.sys" before killing antivirus products and adding the victim's computer to its botnet," said PC Tools chief threat officer, Kurt Baumgartner. "The .ini file maintains a list of p2p information for maintaining communication throughout the botnet, while the .sys file is a driver that injects code deep into the operating system," said Baumgartner.

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.

Amanda Conroy

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift 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?