New Bagle Worm Variant Can Run Without Launching Attachment
The newest worm variant uses an old Windows problem to launch ActiveX control but relies on download sites that are disappearing. Most mail clients block ActiveX controls.A series of new variants of the prolific Bagle worm has raised alarms in the security community through an innovative infection mechanism: The e-mail message in which the variants arrive may have no file attachment, and its possible for a user to become infected without having to launch one. The message includes a Windows ActiveX control and uses a vulnerability announced and patched by Microsoft Corp. in August and another problem from last October. The most recent Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer also includes a fix for the more recently discovered flaw.
The ActiveX control does not contain the actual worm, according to McAfee Security. Instead, it creates and runs a VBScript on the system, which downloads and executes the worm from one of a list of IP addresses. According to McAfee, as of 06:45 PST on March 18, "The majority of the 590 IP addresses seen have been closed down. At the time of writing, 39 were still responding."