Feeds

Phone hacking victims' QC hit by trojan infection

Leveson Inquiry halted by malware probe

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The opening day of a judicial inquiry into phone hacking and other privacy-invading skullduggery by the British media was briefly interrupted on Monday - by a suspected Trojan horse infection.

David Sherborne, a QC representing phone hacking victims during the Leveson Inquiry into press standards, was called back to his judicial chambers after a Trojan was found on its network. The concern was that the malware might extract sensitive data from the network, potentially including case files related to the celebrities and public figures victimised by The News of the World that Sherborne is representing at the inquiry.

This makes fantastic fodder for conspiracy theorists, especially since some staff at NotW's publisher News International, and their hired help, are suspected of using malware, as well as phone hacking, in their hunt for celebrity tittle-tattle and gossip on public figures or even (in one alleged case) those handling agents in Northern Ireland. Ian Hurst, a former British army intelligence officer who served in Northern Ireland, claims he was the target of a malware-based hack back in 2006 and accused reporters at News International.

The strain of malware affecting Sherborne's chambers remains unclear and, in the absence of anything to the contrary, it's probably safest to assume it just a regular virus infection unless we hear differently.

The Daily Telegraph's live blog on the hearing reported that Sherborne raised a few smiles with his remarks when he explained why he had to leave the hearing when he said the threat is "in big red letters much like the font used by the News of the World". More commentary on the incident can be found in a blog post by net security firm Sophos here.

Aside from the security related interruption, the Leveson Inquiry heard that notes kept by disgraced private detective Glenn Mulcaire suggested he might have worked for the The Sun (also published by News International) and rival tabloid The Daily Mirror as well as the NotW. The names of reporters at both papers were mentioned in his notes, indicating they may have commissioned work from him. There's no details or much indication on what that work might have been, according to a report of the proceedings. Although Mulcaire was jailed for six months in 2007 after he was convicted of intercepting the voicemail messages of royal aides at the behest of the NotW not all of his work was illegal.

It's far from the first time suggestions have been made that blagging, phone hacking and other wrongdoing extended across Fleet Street. Heather Mills, the former wife of Paul McCartney, claims that a Mirror journalist admitted hacking into her mobile phone voicemails earlier this year. Actor Jude Law is suing both The Mirror and The Sun over alleged breaches of privacy, The Guardian reports. Both papers deny the allegations, which are yet to be tested in court. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
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
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.