Memories of the Anna Kournikova worm

Graham cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

It’s ten years ago today since the Anna Kournikova worm spread around the world, offering the promise of pictures of the Teutonic tennis temptress but in reality infecting your Windows computer with an email-aware worm.

The Anna Kournikova worm wasn’t particularly sophisticated in design. It was a regular email worm written in Visual Basic Script (VBS), which forwarded itself via emails using details it harvested from your Microsoft Outlook address book.

The worm, which Sophos called VBS/SST-A (it was the media which dubbed it “Anna Kournikova”), didn’t even involve any blood, sweat and tears for its Dutch creator, 20-year-old Jan de Wit. He simply downloaded from the internet a virus construction kit called VBSWG which generated his malware for him.

The real genius of the Anna Kournikova worm was not in its coding. It was in its social engineering.

Here’s what an infected by the Anna Kournikova worm…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

Found this article interesting? Follow Graham Cluley on Twitter or Mastodon to read more of the exclusive content we post.

Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

What do you think? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.