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 Tuesday, 12 February 2008

According to the Washington Post, new research from Damballa suggests that the Storm worm has its roots in "Bobax worm," a computer worm that first surfaced as early as 2004. Bobax spread by exploiting various vulnerabilities in the Microsoft Windows operating system, and turned infected machines into spam-spewing zombies. Damballa researcher Chris Davis asserts that the Storm worm actually first surfaced in late 2006 as seen on this SANS Internet Storm Center alert on 29 December 2006. On 19 January, F-Secure reported receiving a flood of spam advertising new versions of Storm. Researchers soon discovered that all infected systems were controlled using the eDonkey peer-to-peer file (P2P) communications protocol, the same technology and networks used by millions of people to share movies and music online. Paul Royal, Damballa's principal researcher said "they basically took Bobax and made all of them become Storm victims, and then started the propagation of Storm through that method. So Storm used a big botnet to bootstrap itself, and it was the vehicle by which Storm became very popular very quickly." Damballa estimates that roughly 17,000 systems remain infected with Bobax.

Read the full article on the Washington Post.