[24hoursupport] Worm creates P2P attack network

  • From: "BIGMARC" <BIGMARC@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <24hoursupport@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2002 23:41:29 -0400

 


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 Worm creates P2P attack network
 'Slapper' infections reach 17,000 - and rising

By Bob Sullivan
MSNBC

Sept. 16 - Anti-virus firms are ringing the alarm bell over the a new computer
worm that's currently amassing an army of infected Web servers, designed to
initiate massive denial of service attacks. The "Slapper" worm's march through
cyberspace began late Friday and it's already infected over 17,000 machines

SLAPPER IS REMINDING some analysts of last year's "Code Red" and "Nimda" worms
which threatened to slow down the entire Internet.

       Since the worm attacks only computers running the Linux operating system,
it's not a direct threat to most home users. But it could threaten major Web
sites and Internet service providers, according to Alfred Huger, senior director
of engineering at Symantec Corp.'s security response team.

       "There is the potential for it to be remarkably serious if the (denial of
service) networks are turned against targets," Huger said, "It's a problem
waiting to happen."

         Slapper is insidious because it instructs each infected to join a
peer-to-peer network, not unlike Napster. Already, three separate networks have
sprung up; one with 11,000 infected hosts, one with 6,900, and a third that
researchers haven't managed to measure yet. Each network can be controlled by 
any
of the infected machines; so anyone who understand the worm could turn the 
entire
network of machines into a powerful denial-of-service attack tool, Huger said.

Denial-of-service attacks were used in a now infamous string of incidents that
knocked Yahoo, Amazon, CNN, and other high profile Web sites off the Internet in
1997.

       "There are a great many compromised hosts are on well provisioned
networks," Huger said. "It could take down a significant site."

       The Slapper peer-to-peer network has already been used to "attack and
disable high-profile targets," according to a statement issued by Internet
Security Systems Inc. Huger said one of the networks was currently attacking
computers at a security company, but he wouldn't reveal which one.

       "Infections from more than 100 countries so far. (It's) Pretty bad," said
F-Secure Corp. spokesperson Mikko Hypponen.

         Slapper only affects Linux machines running the "Apache" Web server
software; but that's a significant part of the Internet. F-secure estimates 60
percent of the Net's Web sites are served up by Apache machines.
       F-secure estimated 1 million computers are vulnerable to Slapper, which
exploits a flaw found in an Apache component back in July.
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