We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Bagle worm still a threat 3 years on

Is Bagle the most successful malware ever?

The Bagle worm continues to plague the internet over three years after it first appeared, with many anti-virus engines unable to keep up, a security vendor has claimed.

In an analysis released this week, Commtouch Software said its Virus Outbreak Oetection Research Labs (VRDL) was still finding an average of 625 new variants of the mass-mailing worm per day, or up to 1,000 on peak days. The total number of new variants - defined as versions giving differing MD5 checksums - now stood at over 30,000 since the beginning of 2007 alone.

According to the company, the sheer volume of new variants means that traditional anti-virus and heuristic scanners were now unable to cope with the malware flood. That Bagle (or ‘Bagel’ as it is sometimes named) was now exploiting “stealth outbreaks”, whereby small numbers of a new variant were distributed in such a way as to exploit a window of opportunity before being spotted, had only made matters even worse.

Commtouch doesn’t offer any evidence that rival security products can’t detect the large number of polymorphic variants, though it seems likely that even these occurrences have common features that make them stand out.

The ultimate purpose of the vast Bagle family is, as ever, the distribution of spam, which goes a long way to explaining its continued popularity. It could even be the most successful piece of malware in computing history.

Having first appeared in January 2004, it has continued to appear in large volumes though at low risk levels. Since then, it has continued to make a nuisance of itself at regular intervals.


IDG UK Sites

Acer Aspire R11 review: Hands-on with the 360 laptop and tablet convertible

IDG UK Sites

Apple Watch release day: Twitter reacts

IDG UK Sites

See how Framestore created a shape-shifting, oil and metal based creature for Shell

IDG UK Sites

Apple Watch buying guide, price list & where to buy today: Which Apple Watch model, size, material,?......