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Valentine’s Day Storm Worm

Friday, February 8th, 2008 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help, Security Help
 
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Q:
I haven’t heard you talk about the Storm Worm lately. Is there anything new going on with it?

A:
Oooh, great question! And your timing is perfect, because I actually just received word the other day that a new issue has developed concerning the Storm Worm attack. Now, before I go any further, I want to refresh everyone’s memory on what the Storm Worm is. Basically, it’s a Trojan virus that’s been circulating the Web since approximately January 2007. The virus comes through as a malicious e-mail and just wreaks all kinds of havoc!

The Storm Worm started out with such subject lines as “A Killer at 11″ and “Castro is Dead.” It then moved on to lines like “USA Declares War on Iran” and then finished with subjects such as “You’ve received a postcard from a family member” or “You’ve received a greeting.” Many of you are probably familiar with the “Postcard Scam,” because we have written several articles about that in the last few months, but you may not know it’s part of the Storm Worm as well. And now, here we are in February 2008 and it looks as if the Storm has hit again, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Keep reading for all the details!

The Storm Worm always seems to creep back up during a holiday and since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, it’s time to start watching your e-mail very closely once again. According to Snopes.com, there are several subject lines coming through this time. I’ll list a few of them for you, but if you want to see the entire list, go here. Here are some of the more common subject lines used for the Valentine’s Day Storm Worm:

  • A Kiss So Gentle
  • A Rose for My Love
  • Come Dance With Me
  • Dream of You
  • Eternal Love
  • Heavenly Love
  • I Love You With All I Am
  • Inside My Heart
  • Our Love Will Last
  • Sending You All My Love
  • The Time for Love
  • Why I Love You
  • You’re My Dream

So, basically, if you receive an e-mail with a subject line that has anything to do with love, romance or relating to Valentine’s Day in any way, don’t open it! It’s as plain and simple as that. Now, I know a lot of you rely on your e-mail spam filters to sort through your junk mail, but with this one, you really need to keep an eye on your Inbox as well. It seems as if some of the spam filters are having trouble blocking the malicious messages. Snopes said this is happening because the e-mails are being generated by computers that are already infected, which means there are an umpteen number of sources the e-mails could be coming from. In short, your spam filter may be able to block these e-mails, but pay close attention to your Inbox as well, just to be certain.

The Storm Worm e-mails are easily identified by the subject line, but you can also tell them apart by the actual body of the e-mail. Each e-mail contains a short message and a link. The link always uses an IP address instead of a domain name, so if you pay attention, it should look a little funny to you. It will look something like this: http://198.0.0.1, which is not a normal link. Also, just so you’re sure, if you open the e-mail, your computer won’t be harmed, but if you click on the link, that’s when you’re in trouble!

The best thing to do is delete the e-mail as soon as you see it. If it looks suspicious to you, don’t even waste your time opening it. And by all means, do not click on the link! It’s also a good idea to run your virus scans on a regular basis (if you’re not doing so already). Yes, it’s unfortunate that the Storm Worm is still looming around the Web, but if you’re cautious and use some common sense, it won’t be able to bother you. Be safe!

~ Erin

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