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One New Thing
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
One New Thing: Worms!

There’s another worm about – and because I don’t know yet I’d like to find out more about what worms are.

The Symantec site has a glossary of Types of Threat (scroll down a bit to it) which clarifies the differences between the different types of threats. However I got a much clearer definition from a Wikipedia entry on computer worms. This has a special entry for MyDoom, which is specifically what I was interested in. There are two versions of it, according to this, both of which propagate through email but also through the My Shared Folder in KaZaA. Aside from launching denial of service attacks they will install a .dll file which opens a backdoor on your computer.

MyDoom.B can also block access from your computer to antivirus websites. In investigating how this could be done I also discovered new things about HTTP: your computer sends a request, and the server you ask responds with a file. Once the request is complete the connection you have is severed (unlike FTP where you stay connected until you are disconnected – if that makes sense). This is why cookies are needed: to keep track of who you are from page to page.

Looks like WikiPedia computing entries are written at a level non-techies like me can understand. Must come back and explore more in the future!

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