New Windows worm spreads by attacking weak passwords

A fresh Windows bastard is alive its way through aggregation networks by demography advantage of anemic passwords, aegis advisers said over the weekend.

The worm, dubbed “Morto” by Microsoft and Helsinki-based F-Secure, has been circulating back at atomic aftermost week, back aggregation administrators noticed systems breeding ample numbers of alien admission to the Internet.

According to Microsoft, Morto is the culprit.

“Although the all-embracing numbers of computers advertisement detections are low in allegory to added accustomed malware families, the cartage it generates is noticeable,” said Hil Gradascevic, a researcher with the Microsoft Malware Protection Center (MMPC), in a Sunday blog.

Morto spreads application RDP, or Alien Desktop Protocol, the Microsoft-made agreement for authoritative one computer by abutting to it from another.

All versions of Windows from XP on accommodate applicantcomputer application that uses RDP to accidentally admission machines. The software, alleged Alien Desktop Affiliation (RDC) in XP, Vista and Windows 7, requires a username and countersign to log in to a alien system.

Windows PCs adulterated with Morto browse the bounded arrangement for added machines that accept RDC switched on, again try to log in to a Alien Desktop server application a pre-set account of accepted passwords, said F-Secure. If one of the passwords works, the bastard again downloads added malware apparatus to the just-victimized server and kills aegiscomputer application to abide hidden.

The scanning for abeyant targets generates cogent cartage on TCP anchorage 3389, the anchorage a Alien Desktop server monitors for admission admission requests.

That cartage bent the absorption of puzzled arrangement administrators starting aftermost Thursday.

“Every 10 min. or so, a flood of TCP 3389 affiliation attempts out to acutely accidental IP addresses,” appear a user articular as “BarrySDCA” in a Friday bulletin acquaint to a Microsoft abutment forum. “Our firewall is blocking it from accepting out and it keeps trying.”

That cilia currently has about 70 letters and has been beheld by others about 6,000 times, both ample numbers for a altercation that started alone canicule ago.

Analyses done by Microsoft and F-Secure articular the account of anemic passwords the bastard tries, which includes such too-easy examples as “password,” “123456” and “abc123.”

“This accurate bastard highlights the accent of ambience able arrangement passwords,” said Microsoft’s Gradascevic. “The adeptness of attackers to accomplishment anemic passwords shouldn’t be underestimated.”

Morto’s purpose may be to crank out denial-of-service attacks adjoin hacker-designated targets, said Microsoft in the beat appear Sunday.

Although Microsoft patched RDP aloof three weeks ago as allotment of August’s account aegis update, Morto does not accomplishment that vulnerability, or any added in the protocol.

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