The Malware Hall of Fame: Storm Worm

Though the name indicates it’s a worm virus, Storm Worm is actually a Trojan Horse virus. It infected thousands of computers worldwide less than 6 years ago, and experts say well over 300, 000 computers had been infected by Storm Worm, or a mutation of it.

What it does:

  • Delivered as an email with a subject line about the “European Storm”. Using social engineering, the news-like titles continue to trick people with various ever-changing headlines. Keep an eye out for subject lines such as: “A killer at 11, he’s free at 21 and kill again!”, “Saddam Hussein alive!”, “Fidel Castro dead!”, along with many others.
  • The email contains a malicious file. This file is a Trojan Horse that when downloaded creates backdoors that permit hackers to have complete control of the computer.
  • Creates a zombie computer. Zombie computers perform malicious tasks to help the spread of infection. They send out spam emails and are called Botnets. A collection of zombies creates a Botnet Army.
  • Hides in your computer. Stays dormant and attacks little by little. It’s like a parasite – it needs its host to survive. Therefore, very little changes can be detected in the functioning of the computer.  
  • It’s almost totally immune to attacks. Like an ant colony that has specifically assigned tasks, only some of the infected computers actually spread the virus. This way the network of infected computers remains mostly undetected and intact.


How was Storm Worm created?

There is no record of who created the Storm worm. This virus continues to evolve and grow as its developers create new ways of scamming users. The Storm Worm virus has not been stopped as it is extremely hard to track. As the subject line and content of the email is frequently changed to reflect current events, it can be hard for users to detect as well. It cannot be stressed enough to never open emails from senders you do not recognize!