Feeds

Hunt on for porn-meddling virus writers

Outbreak of Homepage worm under control

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The hunt is on for the authors of the Homepage worm amid signs that the outbreak of the virus has been brought under control.

Homepage masquerades as a harmless Web site recommendation but in reality it directs users to one of four porn sites. It is also said an email copy of itself to everyone in an infected user's Outlook address book, an effect that is clogging up email servers worldwide.

Homepage was created with a newer version of the same virus-writing toolkit that spawned the Anna Kournikova worm.

A popular theory in the anti-virus community is that the porn-peddling worm might be a misguided marketing ploy.

Wired reports that three teenagers from the Netherlands have sent an anonymous email claiming responsibility for the virus. They said they created the worm to boost traffic to four porn sites but they did not say whether they owned the sites or knew their owners.

The self-proclaimed virus writters said they were jealous of the attention lavished on the creator of the Anna Kournikova worm, OnTheFly, who also hails from the Netherlands.

Graham Cluley, of antivirus firm Sophos, said the virus authors might be tracked down through the records of Adultcheck.com, which acts as an agent to collect money from porn web sites.

The rate of spread of the virus itself seems to be dying out just 24 hours after it was first unleashed.

MessageLabs, a managed services firm that scans its users email for viruses, reports that it is now intercepting hundreds of viruses an hour, compared with the thousands it intercepted yesterday. In total MessageLabs has intercepted 26,500 copies of the virus, higher than for the Anna Kournikova worm - but taken from a larger user base.

Sophos' Cluley said that 155 companies had contacted it about the virus but not all of these were actually infected. The outbreak was less severe than either the Love Bug or Anna Kournikova worm, he says.

Figures on how many people were actually infected by the virus are hard to pin down but emails received Register readers reveal several firms were caught out by the virus and had to take down their email servers.

According to Cluley, firms should consider blocking Visual Basic scripts in emails; this will stop the spread of Homepage and other similar Internet worms. ®

Related Stories

Homepage spreading faster than Kournikova worm
Homepage Net worm spreading like wildfire

External Links

Homepage worm write-up from Command Software
MessageLab stats on the virus outbreak

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
JLaw, Kate Upton exposed in celeb nude pics hack
100 women victimised as Apple iCloud accounts reportedly popped
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.