Feeds

New worm tries to bring down Downing Street website

But Windows malware menace cordoned off

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

AV firms are warning of the appearance of a new Internet worm which attempts to launch a distributed denial of service attack on the Downing Street website.

The Quaters worm spreads via email, using a variety of subject lines relating to account information, and by internet chat systems posing as an attempt to break an Internet chain mail world record. Few incidents of the worm have been spotted thus far, and it doesn't appear to be any great risk, nonetheless the overtly political nature of the worm is likely to capture the attention of UK authorities.

The worm, which naturally only affects Windows PCs, displays a message accusing Blair of wasting taxpayer's money on illegal immigrants rather than investing in the National Health Service and schools.

Quaters can overwrite files on the user's computer with the text "Infected by the WIN32.SORT-IT-OUT-BLAIR Virus!". It might also display the following message:

Dear Tony Blair,
Why are you spending all our taxes on illegal immigrants!?!
How about you stop worrying about other countries and worry about ours???
Stop spending money on immigrants and spend it on things like OAP's who fought to keep this country free but are now getting treated worst than illegal immigrants!
How about spend a little money on the NHS or the education system!?!
Think about it Mr Blair. Your career depends on it. We've had enough.

The worm also attempts to launch a DOS attack against number-10.gov.uk, the website of the Prime Minister's official residence, 10 Downing Street, London.

"Tony Blair is having enough problems with his chief spin doctor resigning and the Hutton Inquiry, without having an axe-grinding British virus writer causing mischief too," commented Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant, Sophos Anti-Virus.

It's far from the first time viruses have been included a political message.

Previous worms have highlighted the friction between India and Pakistan and other world leaders such as Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Sharon have been attacked in the past.

Former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher suffered in the 1990s from the Fu Manchu virus, which replaced her name with an expletive whenever it was typed. ®

Related Stories

Post Blaster, MS floats default auto updates for Windows
MS releases unholy trinity of security fixes
MS alerts users to Windows DirectX vulnerability
Microsoft issues doubleplus critical security fix
IE bugs keep coming
Wakey, Wakey it's Patching Day. Again
If it's Thursday it must be IE patching day
MS releases grand daughter of all IE security patches

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Early result from Scots indyref vote? NAW, Jimmy - it's a SCAM
Anyone claiming to know before tomorrow is telling porkies
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Home Depot: 56 million bank cards pwned by malware in our tills
That's about 50 per cent bigger than the Target tills mega-hack
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Critical Adobe Reader and Acrobat patches FINALLY make it out
Eight vulns healed, including XSS and DoS paths
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.