Virus writers get a helping hand

Posted by   Virus Bulletin on   Jan 23, 2003

Two organizations send viruses to mailing list subscribers...

Despite the recent conviction of Welsh Wiccan Simon Vallor, for writing and distributing three mass-mailing viruses, virus writers seem to have been given a helping hand recently when it comes to distributing their creations.

Those with good memories will remember W95/Marburg, which was included on 'the master CD of the popular MGM/EA PC CD-ROM game "Wargames"', and subsequently on various PC magazine cover-disks. Kaspersky 's mailing list was 'hijacked' a couple of months ago, resulting in subscribers to the list being sent a message containing Braid.

Sobering stuff, especially in today's rather litigious environment.

In the last week, two organizations have managed similar stunts. Norway's Data Inspectorate, a government agency that provides security information to subscribers, claims its external email server was infected by the Funlove virus, resulting in 1,700 subscribers receiving a copy. One would hope that people with enough nous to subscribe themselves to a security mailing list would be adequately protected.

Sadly, the same cannot be assumed for subscribers to online betting firm bet365's mailing list. Due to a technical oversight of the security kind, subscribers were sent a copy of W32/Lirva. According to The Register, 'bet365 has an active customer base of 10,000 people. Figures for the number of people on the list, much less the numbers who received the Avril [Lirva] worm last night, are unclear.'

As an aside, a CNET analysis of one of Simon Vallor's viruses, Redesi, is somewhat bafflingly presented on a web page entitled: 'Redesi - Software Reviews' - but then we never liked their 'reviews' anyway...

Posted on 23 Jan 2003 by Virus Bulletin

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