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Malware Defense History

by Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov.

Copyright: Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov 1994-2013. Unpublished notes. Version 0.80.October, 2013

Contents : Foreword : Ch01 : Ch02 : Ch03  : Ch04 : Ch05 : Ch06 : Ch07 : Ch08 : Ch09 : Ch10 : Ch11 : Ch12 : Ch13

Chapter 7: Network worms

Bozori.A-E (Zotob.E) Worm

See also Zotob worm

Bozori worm impacted a number of large companies but didn't impact Internet users as extensively as the Blaster and Sasser worm did in 2003 and 2004 respectively.  This happened due to the fact that the vulnerability was Windows 2000 only as well as the method of generation of IP addresses that worked more efficitiently on corporate networks with almost obligatory those days address translation.  Zotob/Bozori might be the fist business worm

MS05-039 Bozori worm - Rise of the business worm?

QUOTES: There's no question that this worm is spreading. However, it seems to be confined to localized 'explosions' inside large corporations. These organizations, typically made up of 'small internets' behind heavily defended Internet gateways, have experienced infection.

The Bozori incident suggests that we're on the threshold of a new era, in which 'business worms' will cause 'local network outbreaks' in large corporations, but will have little effect on the Internet as a whole.

The main lesson of the initial Zotob epidemics (which is the worst worm epidemics in 2005) is that it's impossible to secure a large PC network from network worms without automated patch management system and no amount of policies, procedures and meetings can change this simple fact.

Application of patches should be automatic for probably 80% of our PC base and manual (user controlled) for other 20% (PCs that contain few applications that proved to be highly "patch sensitive").

Absence of Windows Update Services (WUS) or its alternative (for example, Tivoli patches deployment solutions) in the current many large enterprise IT infrastructure makes corporate  infrastructure a lucrative target for any new network worm that exploits vulnerability if patch  was released by Microsoft less then a month or two (worms authors disassemble the Microsoft patch and use the vulnerability in an already written skeleton code pretty quickly and that was a common theme in several recent successful worms). Actually enterprise users who used Microsoft update services in a guerilla fashion fared the best during the initial Zotob epidemics and were able to continue to work without interruptions.

That's why despite all the efforts in application of the patch MS05-039 during the week of Sept. 15 we were slightly hit by a new variant of the same worm at the end of the last week. This variant was better debugged then prev. one and prey of corporate PCs that still does not have a patch MS05-039 installed. Both variants use the same exploit: Microsoft Windows Plug and Play Buffer Overflow Vulnerability (described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-039) on TCP port 445.

Please note that some new strains of Zotob (Zotob.C ) can spread via email, not just the PnP exploit, although Zotob.E that is discussed below is strictly network worm and does not use e-mail for propagation.

Systems Affected: Windows 2000 only.

Naming conventions: Files on the disk: Registry entries used: Ports used: Removal: Additional information:

Webliography - Rise of the 'business worm'

Aug 19 2005   |   comment David Emm Senior Technology Consultant, Kaspersky Lab UK

For some time now, Kaspersky Lab has been tracking a shift in virus writers' tactics. The relative decline in the number of global epidemics during the last year signals a move away from the use of mass attacks on users worldwide. Instead, attacks are becoming more localized.

Of course, changing tactics are nothing new in the field of malicious code. Technological advances have always been the chief driving force behind change. The emergence of the Internet as a means of doing business formed the backdrop to the development of Internet-borne malware. The technological 'tug-of-war' between malware authors and security vendors has also influenced the development of malicious code.

However, technology is not the only factor involved. Social dynamics have an equal influence on the direction in which malware develops. The heavy use of social engineering techniques to lure unsuspecting users into running malicious code is just one example of this. The anatomy of the current Bozori worm outbreaks provides another clear example of the social dynamic in malware development.

On the face of it, Bozori is no different to earlier Internet worms like Blaster or Sasser: it uses an exploit to spread directly to vulnerable machines. Yet there's no global epidemic! We've seen no tell-tale signs of an epidemic on the Internet. And we've had no reports of infection from individual users.

There's no question that this worm is spreading. However, it seems to be confined to localized 'explosions' inside large corporations. These organizations, typically made up of 'small internets' behind heavily defended Internet gateways, have experienced infection.

Bozori, it seems, causes local outbreaks, whenever it's able to reach the critical mass (and this is heavily dependent on the level of management in the organization). The worm can't reach many machines over the Internet because these days everybody deploys a firewall. However, a worm can penetrate a local network without going through the firewall: when an infected laptop is brought into a network with, let's say, 50 Windows 2000 machines, chaos erupts. That's why small companies and home users haven't been affected. On the other hand, a number of globally interconnected corporations, running large networks of computers - practically their own reduced versions of the Internet – have been hit badly.

The Bozori incident suggests that we're on the threshold of a new era, in which 'business worms' will cause 'local network outbreaks' in large corporations, but will have little effect on the Internet as a whole.

This trend is not caused by any technical change in the way virus authors code their malware. What has changed is a shift in the social organization or social dynamics. Organizations have been secured behind their 'impenetrable' firewalls, filtering all e-mails and stripping all executable content. Businesses felt secure and confident that no attack could reach them. The blow from the inside was all the worse for being totally unexpected


Suspected Worm Creators Arrested ). It looks like Farid Essebar was the author of Zotob and Mytob as well as the Rbot bot worm:



Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes


Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D

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