[ISN] Worm feeds on Sasser-infected computers

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Fri May 14 04:40:53 EDT 2004


By Robert Lemos 
Staff Writer
CNET News.com
May 13, 2004

Computers compromised by the Sasser worm may be vulnerable to a
scavenging program that exploits a flaw in the software left behind by
the worm, a security researcher said Thursday.

The worm--dubbed Dabber--has started spreading to Microsoft Windows
systems, but likely won't have a large impact, said Joe Stewart,
senior security researcher with network protection firm Lurhq.

"It is not going to be a big problem for anyone that is paying any
attention at all to computer security," he said. "If somebody does get
it, they probably already have Sasser and, most likely, Agobot as

Dabber is not the first worm to exploit back doors into compromised
systems left behind by previous attackers. Two worms, Doomjuice and
Deadhat, infected systems already compromised with the MyDoom virus.

However, Dabber may be the first worm to attack systems using a flaw
in a previous malicious program. In this case, the file transfer
protocol (FTP) server installed by Sasser to enable the worm to
transfer itself to new hosts has a buffer-overflow vulnerability.  
Dabber uses that security flaw to spread to the new machine.

Once it copies itself to a new host, the worm will change the system
settings so that operating system runs the malicious program every
time it starts up. Dabber will also attempt to block other worms,
which may have infected the machine, from running.

Finally, the worm will establish a back door into the software to
allow knowledgeable attackers to take control of the system.

The scavenging worm arrives as German police are investigating more
leads in the Sasser case. Already, the suspected author has been
arrested in that country, based on information leaked to Microsoft by
informants interested in reward money.

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