Tenacious W32/Sober.c-mm Attacks
A New Year is a perfect time to set goals and make resolutions. Last year taught us to be vigilant in keeping both our operating system and antivirus products up to date. August, 2003, will be remembered as the worst malware month to date, with Klez.H, Blaster, Sobig.F and other viruses and worms making their marks. While network worms arent new, 2003 was the year that the general public learned first hand that refraining from downloading programs from the web and not opening suspicious e-mails isnt enough. The sheer volume of Blaster and Sobig infections attests to peoples laxness in updating their systems.
The proliferation of broadband connections made it easier for users to update, but also made it easier to be attacked. Many Blaster infections could have been prevented if users had applied security updates when Microsoft released them. If you did apply a particular update, you still couldnt let your guard down, since the virus writers found other vulnerabilities to exploit.
This cat and mouse game escalated through the summer of 2003 to where Microsoft was releasing a security update every week. For the broadband user, this was not a problem -- a couple of clicks, a reboot and their PC is up-to-date. It was a little more difficult for dialup users, as some updates were several megabytes in size. For AOL customers who know nothing outside the AOL environment, many may not realize they can click on Windows Update from the start menu anytime theyre online.