Feeds

'I caught a virus from Murdoch's organ' – famous secret hooker

Malware de Jour also hit Girl With One-Track Mind

High performance access to file storage

Two prominent sex bloggers suspect the Rupert Murdoch owned Sunday Times of hacking into their computers using Trojan horse malware. The fears are not based on any hard evidence but are nonetheless sure to add further grist to the mill of the escalating News International hacking scandal.

Zoe Margolis, author of the celebrated "Girl with a one track mind" blog depicting her saucy boudoir escapades - who was outed by The Sunday Times in August 2006 - exchanged Twitter messages with Brooke Magnanti (AKA Belle de Jour, whose blog covered her adventures in prostitution) revealing their suspicions on Monday. The exchanges, recorded in a blog post by Sophos here, come amid the escalating crisis at News International that led to the closure of the News of the World last Sunday.

Magnanti (AKA Belle de Jour) has posted an article on the Sexonomics blog summarising why she reckons Sunday Times journalists tried to infect her PC with a Trojan back in 2005, shortly after the publication of her first book Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl.

She reports that she opened a message sent to a webmail account associated with the original Belle de Jour blog. This message, sent by a Sunday Times journalist, contained an attachment that failed to download.

Magnanti opened the email from a library in Florida, where she was staying at the time, but didn't reply. In fact, she asked a friend based in Australia to reply in an attempt to throw her hunters off her scent.

Nonetheless, days later journos from the Sunday Times began asking the people who were hosting the site about whether Belle de Jour was based in Florida.

It could be that the original message was sent with a request that a reply be sent once it was opened and that this revealed her IP address. Alternatively a so-called "web bug" in an HTML-formatted email could have been used. Such bugs typically involve including a file - perhaps an invisible one-pixel image - which is hosted elsewhere: when the email is viewed the request for the file gives away the reader's IP address to the hosting server, unless appropriate precautions are in place. Malware need not be involved to explain what happened.

It would be rash and unfair to accuse journos at the Sunday Times of sending actual Trojans in the absence of the discovery of any malware. All this happened years ago anyway, so we'll probably never know the truth.

Magnanti said that she relates the story only as a cautionary tale to others. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
Bad PUPPY: Undead Windows XP deposits fresh scamware on lawn
Installing random interwebs shiz will bork your zombie box
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.