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Spammers Release Virus to Attack

2003-11-02 20:00:00 UTC   |   by Steve Linford   |  
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A new virus released by spammers on Saturday 1st November is infecting computers worldwide, and this time the purpose of the virus is to attack The W32.Mimail.E virus is the latest in a string of viruses, each one released by spammers for the purpose of creating a vast worldwide network of spam-sending machines and building an attack network consisting of hundreds of thousands of virus-infected zombie machines with which the spammers then attack anti-spam organizations.

W32.Mimail.E is designed to infect computers worldwide causing them to each begin making overwhelming amounts of bogus requests to's web server,, and also attacks the web servers of and

Spamhaus began coming under massive distributed Denial of Service (dDoS) attacks in July 2003, soon after the release of the SoBig.E virus and the Fizzer virus (W32.HLLW.Fizzer). In June Spamhaus stated that spammers had now moved from simple spamming through open proxies to actually manufacturing and sending out viruses to create a network of spam proxies, infecting hundreds of thousands of mainly home-user machines on broadband (ADSL) lines.

Fizzer (W32.Fizzer-A) in particular is a very wide-spread worm which spreads by emailing itself to contacts in Microsoft Outlook and Windows address books. The purpose of Fizzer is to install a minature web server on which spammers then host typically "pills & porn" sites, an IRC backdoor, and a DoS attack tool specifically for attacking anti-spam organizations. In August and September 4 anti-spam systems were forced into closure under overwhelming dDoS attacks that hit them for weeks at a time.

Spamhaus itself was subjected to the same intense dDoS attacks for 3 months but survived thanks to its large distributed network capable of absorbing the attacks. Still, expecting more attacks, in mid September we moved the Spamhaus web site behind an anti-dDoS device known as iSecure supplied by Melior CyberWarfare Defence ( and can therefore now withstand the waves of dDoS attacks.

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Spammers Release Virus to Attack

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