Porn spam flood swamps Usenet

Trojan frustrates users of security groups

A Windows-based Trojan horse program has swamped Internet discussion groups, including a forum for discussing computer viruses, with child pornography ads.

Called NewsFlood, the program is responsible for a form of denial of service attack targeted at Usenet discussion forums.

According to antivirus firm Sophos, NewsFlood connects to the news server at news.hispeed.ch and continually posts messages about child pornography to one of 11 Usenet newsgroups, including: alt.2600; lt.hackers.malicious; alt.comp.virus; alt.religion.scientology; and (strangely)alt.binaries.pictures.asparagus.

Satirically/hypocritically Newsflood also posts messages to news.admin.net-abuse.usenet, a group dedicated to stamping out online abuse.

When posting messages the Trojan horse uses a variety of From: and Subject: headers.

Antivirus firms describe the Trojan as low risk because it appears to be spreading slowly and because it is not particularly damaging. But it has still proved to be an unwelcome nuisance. Nonetheless vendors have announced plans to update antivirus software to detect the bug.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos Anti-Virus, said the Trojan is not a big problem, because most Usenet readers allow the ability to filter messages. But it does mean "newsgroups were even more full of junk than usual".

Stephen Gielda, president of security information company PacketDerm LLC, told Wired that code for the Trojan contained no indication of its origin.

Jesus Sardinas, who runs GlobalPix, one of the pornography sites the Trojan promotes, denied any connection to NewsFlood's author. He also told Wired his service does not provide child pornography. ®

External Links

Write up on NewsFlood by Sophos
Wired: Anti-Virus Board Gets Sick

Sponsored: 10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity