Bagle Infection Rate Rolling Down

By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2004-01-21 Print this article Print

The Bagle.A worm, a k a Beagle.A, was prolific during its first 24 hours on the Internet. However, security firms report that its infection rate has faded since.

While it came out of the oven hot on Sunday, the Bagle.A worm, also known as Beagle.A, has gone mostly stale in the days since. Security firms that monitor the presence of such worms on the Internet, such as MessageLabs,reported a downward trajectory in its spread.

MessageLabs reported that it intercepted over 120,000 instances worldwide of the Bagle.A worm on Monday alone, but this number fell to 40,000 on Tuesday, and Wednesday looked to be even slower. Interceptions in the Americas moved in the same direction, from 18,000 to 12,000 to far fewer on Wednesday.

Symantec also reported coincident infection in some cases of Trojan.Mitglieder.C. Spammers often use Mitglieder.C for an "open proxy," meaning that the software accepts surreptitious connections and commands and then uses the victims Internet connection to then send spam.
Security experts speculated over the possibility that Bagle.A was released prematurely. Its release came on the Sunday before Mondays national holiday in the United States. This weekend arrival gave many IT departments and ISPs the lead time to firm up protection before the restart of business on Tuesday, stopping the worm before it had chances to spread widely. During the time it did spread, according to MessageLabs, most of the detected infections came from Australia, although the geographic dispersal of the worm is very high.

Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

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