[windows2000] Santa Virus Worm hits IM and Email!

  • From: "Jim Kenzig http://kenzig.com" <jimkenz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: thin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, windows2000@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, Brainstem <brainstem@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 22 Dec 2005 15:53:15 -0800 (PST)

If you think it is cute when you click on and see those wonderful holiday cards 
or you are about to send one, think again.
Please try and use restraint in sending those attachment email cards...and even 
more restraint from opening them even if they are from someone you know. See 
Santa Worm Hits Messaging Networks 
Elizabeth Millard, newsfactor.comWed Dec 21, 4:39 PM ET 
With the holidays upon us, the name of Santa Claus is being used for evil 
rather than good by worm developers, who have targeted major instant-messaging 
systems with a holiday-themed virus. 
The IM.GiftCom.All worm has made an appearance on several messaging networks, 
including America Online, Microsoft MSN, and Yahoo. 
The worm attempts to dupe you into believing that a friend has sent you a link 
to a harmless file. If you click on the file, you see an image of Santa. While 
viewing it, the worm attempts to install a rootkit on your system. 
Rootkits are frequently used to circumvent security software and give an 
attacker remote control of a machine. Once the attacker is inside your system, 
the worm harvests your instant-message contact lists for subsequent infections. 
Not Surprising 
The new worm is not surprising to many security researchers because 
holiday-themed threats often occur just as people are swapping online cards and 
forwarding holiday messages to each other. 
The fact that the threat appears in instant-messaging systems also does not 
come as a shock, considering the phenomenal growth rate in the number of 
innovative new worms and viruses over the past year. 
Since the start of 2005, messaging-related security threats have been growing 
each month, according to messaging-security firm IMlogic. 
Track Down 
"The difficulty is that worm developers are using tactics that have been 
successful in e-mail campaigns," said IMlogic chief technology officer Jon 
Sakoda. "They're able to mutate earlier worms and try different strategies, and 
that's giving them a level of sophistication." 
Another problem is that users still are not fully aware that worms and viruses 
can move through messaging systems, Sakoda added. 
In corporate environments, threats like the recent Santa Claus worm can be 
especially nasty because some employees use instant-messaging applications on 
the sly, without the knowledge of the I.T. staff. 
"CIOs should definitely know what's on their network, and what users are 
doing," said Sakoda. "If they think employees aren't using instant messaging 
just because it's not allowed, then they better think 

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