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Researchers Find Evidence of Viruses Infecting Worms Creating New Form of Malware

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A worm infected with a virus could be more dangerous than either alone and more difficult to detect with traditional software programs, say Softwin researchers, who have found 40,000 instances of such mutated malware out of a sample of 10 million files, which represents a hit rate of 0.4 percent. The researchers note that worms usually exist as executable files and viruses tend to infect executable files, so it is only a matter of time before a combination of the two makes its way onto a computer as well.

As an example, the team offers the Virtob virus, which was created to provide a hacker-controlled back door, infecting worms such as the Rimecud, which is designed to steal information such as passwords. In this case, the mutated malware could find private information and then allow a hacker to sneak in and use the information to access private accounts for banks or credit cards.

Softwin did not address the degree of damage a virus would wreak on a worm and the researchers do not believe the virus attacks on worms were intentional or planned by their creators.

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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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