Daily Illuminator

August 24, 2007: A Near-Perfect Storm

Beginning this week, a new batch of emails has started showing up in our inboxes, purporting to be confirmation emails for mostly game-related sites that we have recently signed up for. Doesn't sound unusual, right? The problem is that we haven't signed up for anything, or didn't remember it if we did. This is really the latest round of attempts to spread the Storm Worm. Most of the variations this time around contain something like this:

Account Number: 73422529174753
Your Temp. Login ID: user3559
Temorary Password: jz398

Please Change your login and change your Login Information.
This link will allow you to securely change your login info: http://a.b.c.d/

You might remember the Storm Worm from all of the "friends who have sent you an e-postcard" emails earlier in the month, as well as various other attempts this year. All of these are attempts to get you to click through to a site and then download something (the postcard, a secure login applet, a video player, etc.) that is really the Storm Worm in disguise. There are a couple of different variants, but almost all of them make your computer part of what is called a botnet, a network of infected computers that someone else can take control of and use to send spam or make attacks on other computers.

Most of us safely avoid these, but every now and then the cover sounds believable enough that we might be enticed to check them out. You can rest easy though . . . you're not going senile and forgetting about the sites you've signed up for. It's evil spam. Unless you have some ninjas you can send to visit the creators, just ignore it.
-- Jimmie Bragdon

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