Virus-writers spreading worms by spamming

Thursday, 5 June 2003, 9:29 AM EST

Virus-writers may be using spamming technology to flood the Internet with malicious code.

At least that's the finding of two security firms that tracked the spread of Sobig.c, which debuted this weekend and was first noted for the bogus e-mail address of its sender, bill@microsoft.com.

Sobig.c may look like a run-of-the-mill mass-mailed virus, but it's actually evidence of a new trend in how virus makers distribute code, according to anti-virus researchers at Kaspersky Labs and Central Command.

Using spamming technology is a departure from the normal way virus makers launch their creations, according to Steven Sundermeier, product manager at Central Command.

Typically, he said, copies of the virus are first seeded with a limited number of users -- 100 is usual -- who then unintentionally spread the virus by e-mail and over networks as the worm propagates itself. The result: a slow start, with infection rates picking up as more computers are contaminated.

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