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Security matters: The Stration strategy

October 20, 2006

WORM_STRATION is a family of mass-mailing worms that propagate using simple, recycled e-mail messages. Stration is an old-fashioned worm. Instead of relying on new avenues for propagation, using alternative technologies, or exploiting new security holes, Stration variants target human vulnerabilities, employing social engineering to spread themselves. Subject lines used by Stration variants include the familiar "Hello," "Mail Delivery System," and "Server Report." The strategy behind Stration appears to be to release numerous variants in the wild, suggesting that Stration may be this year's MYTOB, a worm that recorded the highest rate of spawning variants in 2005.

Although the Stration worm is much less complex than its predecessors, such as NETSKY, BAGLE, MYDOOM, and SASSER, Stration can cause direct system damage through its inherent use of system and network resources for its propagation routine. A large TV station in Japan was reportedly affected by the non-availability of network resources due to heavy network traffic caused by multiple Stration infections.

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