Million dollar burnout features as malware lure
Fake robbery footage punts rogue security app
First it appeared as an art project. Now, over a decade later, it's back from the dead as a malware lure.
In August 1994 musicians Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty of the K Foundation burnt a million quid on the Scottish island of Jura as part of an art project, the significance of which has never been properly explained. Fourteen years later malware authors are spamming messages supposedly containing footage of a million dollars going up in smoke.
According to spammed messages, the loot went up in smoke during a failed but pyrotechnically spectacular robbery. In reality, the messages offer nothing more than an archived attachment (called Video.rar) containing a joke program that modifies a screensaver to something resembling the Microsoft Blue Screen of Death and a fake security package that warns of non-existent viral infections.
Screenshots of the email lures and more background on the malware involved can be found in a write-up by Trend Micro here. ®
Shouldn't that be Jura, or have we gained another island without being told?
they didn't... quite
They didn't really burn a million quid, not that they're going to let on, but as far as I recall it went something like this:
The offered a million quid nailed in bundles to boards on a picture frame to the woman who won the Turner Prize for a pile of bricks (I think, it was something pretty lame, if not bricks) This was entitled 'award for the worst Turner Prize Winner ever'. This was somewhat spoiled by the artist refusing to accept the million quid. They then went back to the bank with their bundles of cash with nail holes through the middle, the bank weren't very impressed as they would need to be reprinted, this was duly arranged, at huege cost, presumably with the Bank of England. The K boys then managed to arrange woth the Bank of England for themselfs to dispose of the money on a rmeote Scottish island rather than the bank disposing of it themselfs. So all the really burned was the re-printing fee.
I can't imagine they wouldn't have had a lot to answer to the rozzers about if they did burn the whole lot...
One of the best publicity stunts ever.
I saw Bill speaking a year or so ago and he said that one of his sons had come home from school crying saying "daddy tell me that it's not true, the kids in the playground said you burned A HUNDRED POUNDS"... Bless!
About that million pounds...
They didn't just draw a million pounds from the bank and burn it. Those guys are situationists, not idiots. It was obtained from the Bank of England's stocks of worn-out cash, due to be destroyed. This cost them a substantial sum for security and insurance, but nothing like a million ponds.