Two of the Latest Types of Computer Worms

With malicious programs like spyware and Trojan horses on the steady incline, others tend to fall out of discussion while remaining prominent and quite dangerous. Just like viruses, computer worms are still around, raising just as much havoc as before.

Recent Types of Worms

Panda Security announced the discovery of two new infections in January of 2008: Valentin E and Nuwar OL. These worms employ social engineering techniques using the topic of Valentine's Day to trick users into opening an infectious email attachment. While these attempts seem to be made year after year around the same time, it also indicates that malicious coders are still getting users to fall into their trap.

Nuwar OL Worm

Nuwar OL is delivered to a user's inbox with subjects like "You Are In My Dreams," "I Love You So Much," "Inside My Heart Is You," etc. The contents of the message contains a website link, which downloads the malicious code when accessed. To disguises its activity, the worm redirects you to simple web page with the theme of a romantic greeting card. Once the computer is infected, the infection spreads by sending messages to names in the user's contact folder. The most severe impact of the Nuwar OL is slowing down the performance of a single computer or a network. Once detected, it is generally easy to remove.

Valentin E Worm

Similar to the Nuware Worm, Valentin E is distributed via email. It contains subjects like "True Love," "Searching for True Love," and "Love Of My Life." The worm also includes an attached file titled "FRIENDS4U." When the targeted user opens the attachment, a copy of the worm is downloaded onto their computer. Its malicious code is installed onto the machine as a file with an SCR extension. If the user runs the file, Valentin E. displays a new desktop background to distract them, all while it propagates itself on the host machine. It then distributes email messages with copies of itself attached to further spread the infection to other computers.

Both Nuware and Valentin E are basically employing the same techniques used in may forms of malware, particularly worms and viruses. They send emails with attractive subjects, colorful Valentine's Day e-Cards, romantic desktop themes and more. This is all done to bait the user into running the attachment and unknowingly launching malware onto their systems.

Preventing Worm Infections

In order prevent the infection of worms, viruses and other malicious programs, we strongly suggest the following the tips below:

- Avoid opening emails originating from unknown senders. Beware of emails containing holiday themes, relating to money or any of your accounts.

- Never click on links in an email message, even if they appear to come from a reliable source. Your best bet would be to copy and paste them into your address bar.

- Never open email attachments from unknown senders.

- Be careful of the sites you visit online as many of them are designed to deliver malware

- Install a firewall application to prevent intruders from loading malicious content on your computer.

- Defend you computer with security software with the ability to detect known and evolving strains of malware.

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