Be very prepared
By Joris Evers
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: October 28, 2005, 2:33 PM PDT
A worm found spreading via America Online's Instant Messenger is carrying a nastier punch than usual, a security company has warned.
The unnamed worm delivers a cocktail of unwanted software, including a so-called rootkit, security experts at FaceTime Communications said Friday. A rootkit is a tool designed to go undetected by the security software used to lock down control of a computer after an initial hack.
"A very nasty bundle is downloaded to your machine" when you click on the worm link, said Tyler Wells, senior director of engineering at FaceTime. "This is the first time that we have seen a rootkit as part of the bundle of applications that is sent to your machine. It is a disturbing trend."
IM worm and malicious code attacks are happening more than ever before. The number of threats detected for instant-messaging and peer-to-peer networks rose 3,295 percent in the third quarter of 2005, compared with last year, according to a recent report from security provider IMlogic.