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Home » Hacking News » Outbreak of Plug and Play worms

Outbreak of Plug and Play worms

by Nikola Strahija on August 21st, 2005 Separate groups of hackers are releasing a barrage of worms in a battle to seize control of Windows PCs that remain vulnerable to Windows Plug-and-Play vulnerability.


The Bozori worm attempts to remove infections by earlier versions of the Zotob worm and other malware, so it can take control of a compromised computer for itself. A family of IRC bots that exploit the same Microsoft Plug and Play vulnerability likewise try to remove competing PnP bots.

The rise in malware creation - and competition between various PnP worms - echoes the competition between NetSky and Bagle worms for control of vulnerable Windows PCs that first flared up in March 2004. Then, as now, it's all about turning Windows PCs in zombie spam bots.

-Once one of these worms has control over your computer, it can use your PC for sending spam, launching an extortion denial-of-service attack against a website, stealing confidential information or blasting out new versions of malware to other unsuspecting computer users, said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. -Organised criminal gangs are behind attacks like these and their motive is to make money. Owning a large network of compromised computers is a valuable asset to these criminals, and every business needs to take steps to ensure they are not the next victim on their list.

The worms are affecting computers which are not properly patched against Microsoft security holes such as the MS05-039 Plug and Play vulnerability, disclosed by Microsoft last week. Windows 2000 systems are particularly at risk of exploit. Many organisations have already been hit including CNN, ABC, The Financial Times, and the New York Times. General Electric, United Parcel Service, Caterpillar and the US Congress have also been affected by PnP worm infestation.


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