Feeds

Hunt for Code Red authors turns into witch hunt

29A deny involvement

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Reports that the author of the infamous Code Red worm belong to virus writing group 29A have been comprehensively refuted by hacking groups and security experts alike.

In the run-up to the Hackers at Large (HAL) conference in Holland last weekend, the German newswire DPA carried reports that "computer security experts" had identified the "Dutch hacker group 29A" as source of Code Red by means of "information from online forums".

In fact, 29A are a largely Spanish group one of whose former members, Wintermute, wrote a DOS virus called RedCode, which has nothing to do with the Code Red worm.

Mental Driller, a member of 29A, has sent an email out denying its involvement in the development of Code Red, which contained destructive code that his "research virus programming group" would not include in their viruses, which he claimed were designed to show up system vulnerabilities.

We're not inclined to take statement from virus writers at face value but Mental Driller's statement is backed Frank Rieger, of respected white-hat hackers the Chaos Computer Club as well as antivirus experts.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at antivirus vendor Sophos, said Code Red was "unlikely" to have been written by 29A because the worm didn't fit with their "style or method of attack".

29A, Hexadecimal for 666, features in the source code of Code Red and this may have led to people jumping to conclusions about the involvement of the group in writing the worm, Cluley suggested.

Frank Rieger, of Chaos Computer Club, said that erroneous reports that 29A were Dutch had caused stress for organisers of the HAL conference who feared that the DPA article would provide an excuse for the authorities to come down hard on them.

Meanwhile almost a month after its first appearance on the Internet there are few leads as to who might be behind the creation of the Code Red worm.

As previously reported, both the Code Red Worm and a more virulent variant, Code Red II, exploit a well known flaw to infect Windows servers running IIS. Once installed the worm scans the Internet for other vulnerable servers. Code Red II also has the potential to give an attacker system level access to compromised systems. ®

Related Stories

MS internal network whacked by Code Red
Son of Code Red is born
Internet survives Code Red
IIS worm made to packet Whitehouse.gov
IIS buffer-overrun attack has been scripted

External Links

RedCode by 29A
Deutsche Presse-Agentur (English home page, which doesn't contain links to stories)

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
Plug and PREY: Hackers reprogram USB drives to silently infect PCs
BadUSB instructs gadget chips to inject key-presses, redirect net traffic and more
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?