Geekspeak: April 1, 2002

By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2002-04-01 Print this article Print

Social engineering gives worm more crawling power.

Microsoft customer, this is the latest version of security update, the 9 mar 2002 cumulative Patch update. ... " So begins the text of W32.Gibe@mm, which first appeared early last month and has been spreading rapidly since then.

This worm, spreading through e-mail and shared network drives and installing a back door listening on port 12378 as it goes, is fairly standard. Whats interesting is the social engineering angle (an approach also used by the MyLife.B worm, which prints a "No Viruse Found" message from "MCAFEE.COM" at the end of the e-mail.

The worm relies on users fear of viruses, their growing familiarity with regular (although real) similar announcements, and their trust in Microsoft to properly research and fix these issues. Were so used to Microsoft security patches that weve become immunized to the idea of installing system-level updates on a week-by-week basis.

Timothy Dyck is a Senior Analyst with eWEEK Labs. He has been testing and reviewing application server, database and middleware products and technologies for eWEEK since 1996. Prior to joining eWEEK, he worked at the LAN and WAN network operations center for a large telecommunications firm, in operating systems and development tools technical marketing for a large software company and in the IT department at a government agency. He has an honors bachelors degree of mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and a masters of arts degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.

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