Feeds

Hunt on for porn-meddling virus writers

Outbreak of Homepage worm under control

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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Homepage was created with a newer version of the same virus-writing toolkit that spawned the Anna Kournikova worm.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

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.