A Tasty Dish of Worms and Spam
The security space saw lots of activity in November that may have lasting effects on the way IT pros protect, deploy and maintain environments going forward.
Redmond Identifies Worm Related to Previous
Microsoft in late October released an off-cycle
, centered on remote procedure call
(RPC) technology, which allows subroutine code
to execute on other computers in a shared network.
The week of Thanksgiving, the software giant said
it pegged a wild exploit that was related to the
stated vulnerability. The problem stems from a
worm dubbed "Win32/Conficker.A
The worm will "propagate on random computers"
in an affected Windows-based network, according
MSRT Purges Nearly 1M PCs in November
Redmond said that its Malicious Software Removal
Tool, which it rolls out Windows users every a
month as part of Patch Tuesday, jettisoned "fake
security software" from nearly a million
PCs. In a recent
blog posting, three of Microsoft's security
researchers said the period from Nov. 11 through
Nov. 20 saw heavy instances of phony security
software popping up on Windows machines.
"There is no surprise about the prevalence
of these rogues given our earlier telemetry analysis
on other Microsoft AV products and tools,"
the researchers wrote.
The November finding was significan; in October
a program called "Renos" clocked in
with 389,036 distinct machines cleaned in the
first week and 655,535 machines for the whole
Redmond: Spam Not Microsoft-Specific
Microsoft is taking issue with being listed No.
5 among the ten worst Internet service providers
protecting against spam. According to data compiled
through Nov. 30 by Spamhaus.org, spammers see
Microsoft products as more enticing because Microsoft's
Live.com and Livefilestore.com sites won't get
blocked by anti-spam groups. Redmond doesn't seem
to think there's anything anyone can do about
spammers except use common sense.
The software giant issued a statement in response
to the report saying, "Spam and other abuse
scenarios are not Microsoft-specific." The
statement went on to say that in Windows Live
there are opportunities for users and customers
to share their own content through Windows Live
Hotmail, Windows Live Spaces, Windows Live SkyDrive
and other free services. As such, Redmond said
"spammers have multiple avenues to target
consumers with malicious activities."
Coincidentally, Microsoft has dropped off the
ten list for the worst ISPs as of Dec. 1.
Whether this is due to a quick reaction from the
software giant, an influx of spam on other networks
or a re-tabulation of data is anybody's guess.
Jabulani Leffall is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Financial Times of London, Investor's Business Daily, The Economist and CFO Magazine, among others.