ISS PAM/ICQ 'Witty' worm analysis

Monday, 29 March 2004, 12:23 PM EST

Although the 'Witty' worm was not particularly widespread, it gained major attention simply for its choice of targets. The worm was unique, because rather than evading perimeter defenses and striking at flaws within corporate networks, this worm took a much different approach. The worm was among the first to strike at the security installations themselves. Exploiting a vulnerability in Internet Security Systems Protocol Analysis Module technology, the worm took advantage of gaps within the very software charged with our protection. As application complexity grows, we must scrutinize every layer of security we insert, as well as weaken. For every point of inspection is now a point of entry for unscrupulous internet intruders. This analysis seeks to provide technical details about the worm, and the lessons it has taught security experts.

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