I remember last February thinking the whole world had suddenly fallen in love with me. I use 5 different email services, all for different purposes, and each of my mailboxes was overflowing with Valentine’s Day greeting cards.
Now I’m a nice guy, (I think), but nice enough to have my inboxes stuffed with Valentines? I don’t think so now, and I didn’t think so then. I mean, how many emails are you likely to get stating, “Falling in love with you”, “Sending you my love”, “Memories of you” or “I Love You Soo Much”?
Of course what was really happening was we were faced with an avalanche of “romantic” emails seeded with the Storm Worm. The worm delivers rootkits which, if downloaded, takes control of a system via peer-to-peer communications, potentially making compromised systems a tool in identity theft and financial loss.
The body of the email contains a link to an IP address-based website, which is actually one of the many PCs in the storm network of compromised computers. The website displays a large red heart, while installing malware onto your computer. It’s estimated that this year, 8 per cent of “romantic” emails, or one in every 12 emails, is likely to contain malware.
To further complicate matters, according to PandaLabs, Panda Security’s laboratory for detecting and analyzing malware, it has detected two new worms, Nuwar.OL and Valentin.E, which use Valentine’s Day email messages to spread. Basically, these two new worms mimic the behavior of the Storm Worm.
You know what to do, right?
- Don’t open emails that come from unknown sources.
- Don’t click on any links included in email messages, even though they may come from reliable sources. Instead, type link in the address bar.
- Don’t run attached files that come from unknown sources; especially these days.
- Stay alert for files that claim to be Valentine’s greeting cards, romantic videos, etc.
- Make sure you have an effective security solution installed, capable of detecting both known and new malware strains.