The Storm Worm
I want to point out a very interesting article by Bruce Schneier about the Storm worm. If it were not so illegal, the techniques used by this worm are very, very advanced and very interesting from a development and network/load-balancing point-of-view. Anyone interested in development, network administration, and security should read the article.
The worm has grown to a real epidemic by continuously adapting, changing its code, the code signature, etc. It has infected this huge number of computers because the resulting bot-net is hardly ever used, it keeps in a dormant stealth mode. Most users are not aware they are infected with the worm because it tries to avoid detection by not using to much ressources and therefore hardly attracts attention by system administrators. Bruce Schneier points out that maybe we should be worried about what’s coming in “Phase II”, once the gigantic bot-net is brought into action.
To avoid detection, the worm and the bot-net operators apply several advanced load-balancing and stealth techniques, namely a DNS technique called “fast flux” which very effectively blurs the traces to the real operators.
As I said, it is very interesting read. I recommend you also follow several of the outbound links.