Feeds

Conficker suspect brought to book in Beavertown?

Evidence of Russian sense of humour found!

The essential guide to IT transformation

While the rest of the world bit its nails in terror that the Conficker worm would somehow rise up and swamp the internet on 1 April, Russian wags seized on the opportunity to craft a subtle April Fool joke.

A story by Russian news agency RIA Novost that police in Belarus had arrested a pair of suspects looked plausible enough at first sight. But a closer reading reveals the story (extracts of Google translation below) has several ludicrous aspects that mark it as a jape.

Law enforcement agencies of Belarus and Interpol as a result of a joint operation detained two people suspected of creating the worm Conficker, infected millions of computers around the world, transmits RIA Novosti.

The story goes on to suggest that preliminary analysis of one of the computers seized by police showed source code for the infamous Conficker worm, according to second deputy chief of the Bobruisk District Department of Internal Affairs, Lieutenant Andrew Kandyba.

The agency, through collaboration with Skype to law enforcement agencies managed to intercept and decipher one of the VoIP-calls with their attackers «colleague», which, according to the IP-address of his computer, was in Russia. According Kandyba, the conversation was about plans to conduct large-scale operations using built worm Conficker super-botneta.

Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer at F-Secure, pointed out the inconsistencies in the story. "We have no direct knowledge of the case at all," Hyppönen told us. "But I would bet a bottle of vodka it's an April Fools joke.

"The evidence sounds like a joke ('found a hacker magazine'? give me a break). Also, since when has any police anywhere been able to instantly provide a comment on the contents of the suspect's computer?"

The biggest hint that the story is a joke, as Hyppönen pointed out, is the name of the city: Bobrujsk, which might just be a differently transliterated version of Babruysk or Babruisk - something like the Russian equivalent of Scunthorpe, in comedy terms. A Russian website focused on jokes about Babruisk can be found here and more background on why the city's name (which resembles the Russian word for Beaver) is used in jokes can be found here.

So the story leaves us none the wiser as to the identity of the unknown author of Conficker. Some sources, such as Vietnamese security firm Bkis, suggest that Conficker is the work of Chinese malware authors, but even this remains largely speculative. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.