Feeds

Conficker suspect brought to book in Beavertown?

Evidence of Russian sense of humour found!

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Hackers thrash Bash Shellshock bug: World races to cover hole
Update your gear now to avoid early attacks hitting the web
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
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.