Feeds

Marijuana virus puts security to pot

Pro-ganja message leaves netizens smoking with indignation

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

An irritating but relatively harmless virus doing the rounds on the Internet is alienating potential supporters of legalising marijuana.

The Marijuana virus has been packaged into a 'game' called either Dope Crop (or Weed Farmer) which in reality is a Trojan horse program that changes the start page on a user's browser to my.marijuana.com and puts a marijuana leaf on a user's system tray. The bug, which is also believed to be spreading via email, also changes the name of Internet Explorer to "Marijuana Explorer (Legalise It!)".

Among its other effects, which are explained in more detail here, each day at 16:20, the virus displays a message box with the title "The Marijuana Virus!!" and the message "It's 4:20, Time to toke up :)"

Potentially very embarrassing, although not necessarily an entirely screwy idea.

The Trojan horse has nothing to do with the people who run Marijuana.com, a site that advocates the legalisation of pot, who have found themselves bombarded with aggressive (and decidedly un-mellow) messages. These in turn have generated retaliatory flames saying that people who download programs from the Internet without checking them for viruses must be "twits", or worse.

Rick Garcia, the Web master of Marijuana.Com, has posted a note to its users that said the site was on the receiving end of a practical joke.

"Marijuana.Com is in no way involved in this prank and is purely an innocent bystander who apparently fit the bill for this virus," said Garcia, whose site has been targeted by hackers since the virus first cropped up almost six weeks ago.

Antivirus vendors have largely updated virus definitions to detect the bug but Marijuana.com is still receiving a steady stream of aggrieved emails.

If a pot head (such as a Tory shadow cabinet member, perhaps?) wrote the virus it's having the opposite effect of what the legalise dope camp would want. ®

External links:
Write up on the Marijuana virus by Sophos
Marijuana.com

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
NOT OK GOOGLE: Android images can conceal code
It's been fixed, but hordes won't have applied the upgrade
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.