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Beware of Santa

  • December 12, 2005

It looks like the week before Christmas does not bode well for PC users, who are currently facing a triple security threat. The first threat is on account of a extremely critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer that allows execution of arbitrary code. You can find additional information about this vulnerability from this Secunia webpage. The second threat is quite disturbing as it is a highly critical vulnerability in the Symantec Antivirus product. You can find additional information about it from this Secunia webpage. This reminds me of the Witty worm that wiped out many servers early last year because of a vulnerability in the BlackIce firewall. When your antivirus product or firewall can get you infected then your only hope seems to be proactive and constant monitoring.

The third threat is in the form a worm that is spreading through instant messaging networks like Yahoo, MSN and AOL and is being referred to as the Santa Claus worm or IM.GiftCom. This worm is enticing users to visit a website featuring Santa Claus. You can find additional information about this worm from this PC World article. I wouldn’t be surprised if this worm is using the IE vulnerability mentioned above. Stay safe, stay warm.