A year on from the debut of SoBig.A, the first virus to converge spam and virus writing techniques, its legacy continues, warns a security company.
Managed email security firm MessageLabs predicted that this convergent attack style will be extensive during 2004 as the techniques of spammers and virus writers overlap.
SoBig infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide, but the initial virus also installed open proxies on compromised machines which were then used to send spam.
MessageLabs has so far intercepted 737,125 copies of the worm in 183 countries, and it continues to spread.
Mark Sunner, chief technology officer at MessageLabs, said in a statement: "SoBig.A and its successors represent one of the most significant shifts in virus writing techniques to date.
"While the line between virus writers and spammers was once clearly drawn, this new generation of viruses is fast eroding that distinction."
MessageLabs said that this year will see an increasing number of overlaps between the methods used by the virus writers and spammers.
"The success of SoBig has served as an inspiration to cyber-criminals, and demonstrates what can be achieved when they work together," he said.
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