06:40 PM
Connect Directly
Repost This

Worm Attack: A Grudge Match With Symantec?

The Rinbot worm, which hit the computer network at Turner Broadcasting Thursday, targets flaws in Symantec and Microsoft SQL Server software.

A worm is getting an awful lot of attention for a piece of malware that several antivirus vendors have rated as a low threat.

The Rinbot worm, which also is known as the Delbot worm, hit the computer network at the Turner Broadcasting System, a division of Time Warner and parent of CNN and, according to a company spokeswoman. A story on the Web site said the network was hit on Thursday. It's not clear how much the worm impacted the network.

The worm, which is trying to build a botnet, also was getting quite a bit of play because it targets Symantec, a leading antivirus software vendor. While the worm does exploit a vulnerability in Symantec client security, it also goes after Microsoft's Windows Server Service remote buffer overflow vulnerability and Microsoft's SQL Server user authentication remote buffer overflow vulnerability.

Paul Moriarty, director of Internet content security at TrendMicro, notes that all three vulnerabilities have been patched. The worm can only get a foothold in company networks or individual machines if they haven't been updated.

"There's no evidence of a big attack here," says Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant with Sophos. "It does look for vulnerabilities in other software, but the Symantec exploit is particularly notable. Symantec has put so much effort looking into the security of Microsoft Vista, while hackers have been going after Symantec."

Cluley adds that Sophos analysts haven't seen the worm, which was first spotted in the wild early in 2005, picking up a dramatic amount of speed. "It's not like it's gaining speed or becoming a Melissa or an I Love You. It's that it's hitting some high-visibility sites."

Rinbot also targets weak passwords, according to Cluley, noting that it has several hundred common passwords built into its code so it can do automatic searches for an easy way into a network. The malware looks to open backdoors, connecting to remote servers and enabling a hacker to control the machine remotely.

"Symantec Security Response is aware of the W32.Rinbot.L worm which spreads to network shares protected by weak passwords," said a Symantec spokesman in a statement emailed to InformationWeek. "This particular variant of the W32.Rinbot virus exploited an old vulnerability in Microsoft software (MS06-040) and Symantec AntiVirus. Symantec's Norton product line is not affected. In order to close off the vulnerability itself, a patch was made available to customers in May 2006. Customers who have followed intelligent patching practices should not be affected by the new variant."

1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.