Storm Worm network shrinks to about one-tenth of its former size

October 21, 2007

Storm Worm network shrinks to about one-tenth of its former sizeThe infamous Storm Worm Trojan is now significantly less terrifying, as it has been shrinking steadily and is now about 10 percent of its former size, according to a University of California researcher.

Brandon Enright, a network security analyst at UC San Diego, has been tracking Storm Worm since July, having developed software that can crawl through the Storm network provide an estimate of its size.

While some estimates say Storm has affected 50 million computers, Enright believes that only about 15 million PCs have been infected by Storm since its release. A large number of those have already been cleaned up, and are no longer part of the Storm network, he said.

According to Enright, in July Storm appeared to have infected about 1.5 million PCs — about 200,000 of which were accessible at any given time, he said. But since then, it’s been downhill for Storm, he added.

“It’s actually been shrinking steadily and is presently a shadow of its former self.”

Enright said that Storm is about one-tenth of its former size. His most recent data counts 20,000 infected PCs available at any one time, out of a total network of about 160,000 computers. “The size of the network has been falling pretty rapidly and pretty consistently,” Enright told PCWorld.

Enright attributed the shrinkage of Storm’s network size to antivirus vendors, who are now providing better solutions for tracking Storm variants, and cleaning infected computers.

But while Storm Worm network is shrinking, this does not mean it is now beatable. In fact, some researchers find that it is proving hard to get rid of. They discovered that Storm Worm can detect early signs of threat and can launch counter-attacks.

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