Article Review: Worms Are Most Prevalent Security Problem

Article Review: Worms Are Most Prevalent Security Problem
April 12, 2011 Comments Off on Article Review: Worms Are Most Prevalent Security Problem Academic Papers on Information Technology,Sample Academic Papers admin

Windows operating system has been the target of a number of remote attacks recently, most of them carried out by worms. The Conficker worm has continued to be a significant threat worldwide for all Microsoft Windows running PCs and this has been confirmed by a recent security report that has been published by Microsoft (Kirk, 2009). Conficker worm exploits the flaws in Windows operating system and software to link machines to together into a virtual computer that can be controlled by the authors of Conficker worm.

It was first discovered in November 2008, when it started spreading to a large number of computers running Server, Professional and XP versions of Windows operating system. In six months, Microsoft reported that over 5 million computers all over the world were infected with Conficker. In all these instances, Conficker worm spread either by exploiting network service vulnerability in Server versions of Windows, through the use of infected removable media or through brute-force password cracking on other PCs. Although the techniques used by the Conficker worm to infect and link together machines are well known to researchers, Conficker uses these techniques in combination which makes it difficult to detect and eradicate. In fact, Conficker created so many problems initially that Microsoft was forced to issue an emergency patch for its operating systems in October 2008, in order to block the loophole in the software which allowed the worm to spread quickly (Conficker Working Group, 2009). However, despite its efforts, Microsoft has not been able to fully eliminate the threat of Conficker. It still exists, mainly on computers in enterprises, circulating among them, and still poses the threat to spread quickly due to its password cracking ability (Kirk, 2009).

Taterf worm is another popular Windows-infecting threat, which is just behind the Conficker worm with more that 4.9 million infections. The purpose of Taterf worm is to steal authentication and account information of multiplayer games such as Lineage and it spreads through infected portable devices or through network drives. It copies itself to the root of the drive and creates an “autorun.inf” file as well to ensure that it gets executed as soon as the drive is accessed (McCormack, 2008). In June, it was reported that Taterf made up a significant portion of the number of infection that were detected in last 6 months (McCormack, 2008).

PC running Windows operating systems have also been hit severely by Zlob, a Trojan horse, in past few months. The Zlob Trojan uses an innovative way to propagate. It masquerades itself as an ActiveX video codec control that is required to run certain videos.

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