Feeds

New worm tries to bring down Downing Street website

But Windows malware menace cordoned off

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Seven Steps to Software Security

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

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Black Hat anti-Tor talk smashed by lawyers' wrecking ball
Unmasking hidden users is too hot for Carnegie-Mellon
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.