Recently, we reported that the Nyxem worm was due to start doing its foul work on February 3, deleting a variety of important files including word documents and PDFs. Already reports are emerging of the malware beginning to do its stuff, thrashing files on infected machines with incorrectly set system clocks. Also known as the "Kama Sutra worm", Nyxem has already caused enough chaos such that anti-virus firm F-Secure says it has already received two reports from users who've had files on their system overwritten by the worm. The worm overwrites DOC, XLS, MDB, MDE, PPT, PPS, ZIP, RAR, PDF, PSD and DMP files on all mounted drives, so you don’t have to use much imagination to work out how devastating it could be to fall victim to this worm.
This old-school "trash your Windows PC" worm has infected an estimated 600,000 machines, with the US, India and Peru having the greatest number of infected machines, Security Focus reports. One US firm alone is responsible for around 75,000 infection hits, according to an analysis by security firm LURHQ.
The thought behind Nyxem does seem somewhat strange – we have come to expect malware writers to turn their hand to writing code that somehow has a real world benefit to its creators, such as sending spam (which earns them money), or joining the infected machine to a botnet (which lets them do denial of service attacks against websites, etc). This malware, however, harks back to the old days, where code was designed to trash your machine for basically no good reason other than sheer spite. With Nyxem, spite, it seems, is back in style.