Feeds

Ukrainian cops silence old-skool virus tinkerers' playground

'It's not a game any more, chummy'

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Ukrainian cops have shut down a long-running malware exchange website frequented by old-school virus writers.

A message on the front page of the VX Heavens website announces that the site has been forced to shut up shop after the plods seized its servers last Friday as part of a criminal investigation. According to the shuttered site:

For many years we were tried hard to establish a reliable work of the site, which supplied you with a professional quality information on systems security and computer virology. We do always believed that a true research in any field (computer virology included) is only possible in the atmosphere of trust, openness and mutual assistance.

Unfortunately...

Friday, 23 March, the server has being seized by the police forces due to the criminal investigation (article 361-1 Criminal Code of Ukraine - the creation of the malicious programs with an intent to sell or spread them) based on someone's tip-off on "placement into the free access malicious software designed for the unauthorised breaking into computers, automated systems, computer networks".

The absurdity of such statement we need to prove in the court...

We are sorry, but until the case is still open we are unable to offer our services in any form.

VX Heavens, which bills itself as a vault of information, provided virus-writing tutorials as well as malicious code samples and other resources. The site had been running for many years prior to last week's takedown operation.

The site was part of the old-school virus development scene and something of a throwback to days of old before profit-making Trojans dominated the malware landscape, according to anti-virus firms.

"The folks using the VX Heavens website were probably not in the same league as the financially-motivated organised criminals computer users are often troubled by today, and mirror rather more the hobbyist malware authors of yesteryear," explained Graham Cluley in a post on the Sophos Naked Security blog.

"Nevertheless, it's clear that the Ukrainian authorities didn't like what they saw and have confiscated the website's servers in their hunt for evidence of criminality. Let no one be under any illusions: malware creation and distribution of viral code has become a big concern for the-powers-that-be. It's not a game anymore - if you play in this area, don't be surprised if the authorities take a dim view," Cluley added. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
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.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.