Houston, We Have a Problem - Spam Virus Hits NASA

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Theresa Payton

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A virus hit the globe recently creating a nuisance for some and a real outage for others.  At some companies that attack was so bad that email in baskets were overflowing with the spam.

The spam went right past most anti virus software. Organizations noted as impacted by ABC News were NASA, Comcast, AIG, Disney, Proctor and Gamble, Florida Department of Transportation, and Wells Fargo.

The Florida Department of Transportation took down their email to deal with the attack and, according to ABC News, their spokesman noted that 6 other agencies in Florida had been hit.

Unofficially, I was contacted by various colleagues at large companies asking if I knew what was going on.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF:

1.  Keep your A/V up to date

2.  In this case, YOU are the first line of defense, it may slip right past your A/V software.  If you receive an email with an attachment or a link, call the person who sent it to you to verify that they sent it.

WHAT THIS SPAM LOOKS LIKE:

"Hello:  This is the Document I told you about, you can find it here" and the link includes a PDF file.

or,

"Just for you" and "This is the free download sex movies, you can find it here."

WHAT TO DO IF IT HITS YOUR INBOX:

1.  Do not open it

2.  Delete it from inbasket and trash

3.  Notify your technology department

WHAT CAN THE VIRUS DO?

1.  Right now, the virus appears to be focused on infecting machines for an unknown reason but often this tactic is deployed to create a botnet

2.  To date, there has not been issuance of a warning that it is stealing information from infected computers

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