Security Firm Warns of IM Worm

Less than a week after sounding the warning bell regarding a barrage of threats coming through public Instant Messaging (IM) clients, Akonix Security Center said it has discovered another bug.

The latest IM spyware worm, is named Chode-D, is moving rapidly over leading public IM networks, the security center said. The worm has been classified as a “medium risk.”

The firm said it is using its IM malware, SPIM and protocol update system, which automatically pushes updates to customers and blocks worms and viruses in real-time at the network perimeter, to ward off attackers.

Chode-D runs continuously in the background of computers, providing a backdoor server that allows a remote intruder to gain access and take control over a PC via Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channels, according to Akonix.

It also has backdoor functionality to send e-mails, download updates, participate in denial-of-service attacks, steal passwords, disable anti-virus products and modify a system HOSTS file.

The Akonix Security Center has been monitoring the growth of these threats for several quarters, and reported 42 new threats aimed at corporate IM systems in July, a 24 percent increase over the previous month.

Although the threats continue to be significant to home and work users, it is a dramatic drop from the explosion of the previous month. In June, technicians at the IM security outfit registered a 400 percent increase in threats targeting instant messaging and P2P networks.

Akonix said P2P and IM tools have become more prevalent as the tools become more valuable for everyday business, and insist corporate networks continue to remain vulnerable to various attacks. As the sophistication level of virus writing increases, Akonix said businesses must be vigilant in protecting themselves.

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