Feeds

New worm tries to bring down Downing Street website

But Windows malware menace cordoned off

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
SMASH the Bash bug! Red Hat, Apple scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Desperate VXers enslave FREEZERS in DDoS bot
Updated Spike malware targets Asia
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
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.