Sunday, July 31, 2005

Testing worms -- advanced!

Testing worms is more involved, for two reasons, 1) you have to get the worms, and 2) worms can send out worm-infested emails without you, the user knowing it. So you need to ask for volunteers to be in the Outlook address book of the test system. Obviously, your volunteers will need to either be on non-Windows computers, or have solid malware protection. Even then, many ISP's will filter worms out of the recipient's email. So one must "qualify" the volunteers -- see whether they can receive a worm that you send to them directly. In my experience, people on some ISP's never get worms. The upshot is you need lots of voluteers, and you may find that only a few of them will be able to receive worms and thus participate in the tests.

I tested two worms, a Netsky and a Beagle. Least privilege stopped the Beagle cold. On the other hand, Netsky was able to send out emails to the addresses listed in the Outlook address book, complete with spoofed "from" addresses. Logging off effectively flushed both Netsky and Beagle.



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