Viruses go Haiku!

February 10, 2000 Sophos Press Release

A new computer virus shows its creative touch - by generating random Haiku poetry when it infects computers.

Haiku is an ancient form of Japanese poetry in which the sounds and rhythms of words are more important than the words themselves. The W32/Haiku virus, written by Sandman of the 29A virus-writing gang, uses a table of different words to display a different Haiku everytime it is run.

W32/Haiku is not in the wild, and has not been seen at any customer sites. As such Sophos antivirus researchers do not believe it currently poses a significant threat. Detection of the virus will be included in Sophos Anti-Virus version 3.32.

Although Haiku can be considered a genuine art form, viruses cause real harm to the data of individuals and corporations.

For the full description of W32/Haiku please read the Sophos analysis below.

W32/Haiku virus analysis

W32/Haiku is an email-aware worm that forwards itself to any email addresses it find in files on the hard disk.

The worm forwards itself as an attachment called haiku.exe. The subject of the message is "Fw: Compose your own haikus!" and the message body:


:))

----- Original Message -----

>Old pond...
> a frog leaps in
> water's sound."
> Matsuo Basho.
>
>DO YOU WANT TO COMPOSE YOUR OWN HAIKUS?
>
>Haiku is a small poetry with oriental metric that appeared in the
>XVI century and is being very popular, mainly in Japan and the
>USA.
>
>It's done to trascend the limitation imposed by the usual language
>and the linear/scientific thinking that treat the nature and the
>human being as a machine.
>
>It usually has 3 lines and 17 syllables distributed in 5, 7 and 5.
>It must register or indicate a moment, sensation, impression or
>drama of a specific fact of nature. It's almost like a photo of
>some specific moment of nature.
>
>More than inspiration, what you need in order to compose a real
>haiku is meditation, effort and perception.
>
>DO YOU WANT TO COMPOSE YOUR OWN HAIKUS?
>
>Now you can! it is very easy to get started in this old poetry
>art. Attached to this e-mail you will find a copy of a simple
>haiku generator. It will help you in order to understand the
>basics of the metric, rhyme and subjects which should be used
>when composing a real haiku... just check it out! it's freeware
>and you can use and spread it as long as you want!
>
>

When the worm is run it will copy itself to HaikuG.exe in the Windows directory and modify WIN.INI to to ensure that it is run each time Windows is started. A randomly generated piece of poetry is displayed in a message box with the title of "Haiku Generator".

For example:

Pale sun the dolphin recalls the steamnig sea.

The Haiku displayed is generated randomly from the following list of words:

bridge, light, sea, fish, butterfly, foghorn, day, moon, evening, spring, sunset, boat, petal, blossom, stone, mist, passage, darkness, dolphin, ant, shadow, star, frost, cicada, wind, garden, orchard, chestnut, forest, leaf, sun, winter, autumn, summer, morning, tree, branch, smoke, grape, rainbow, blackness, shade, edge, snowflake, raindrop, starling, stem, charcoal, silence, flurry, trunk, gnat, pear, strawberry, breeze, grass, silence, worm, solstice, rain, cauliflower, dawn, fire, splinter, cedar, skyline, mushroom, foam, roar, child, reflected, calm, distant, small, shifting, long, overlooking, delicate, tiny, colorful, silent, noisy, faint, bruised, plucked, ripening, swollen, dark, new, old, brittle, steaming, decaying, single, wet, bare, bright, cold, heavy, purplish, fleeting, smooth, pale, imprisoned, lightning, frozen, cupped, dewy, shriveled, fiery, hunkered, stirring, chattering, misshapen, taut, matted, visible, wild, surprising, sudden, trembling, twisting, perfect, flashing, frosted, solemn, rising, lost, loved, this, that, these, those, of, to, with, from, in, on, slowly, calmly, soon, suddenly, eagerly, afterward, slightly, toward, now, the, a, and, or, share, shared, stop, stopped, recall, recalled, drive, drove, chase, chased, contain, contained, return, returned, rise, rose, ripple, rippled, move, moved, fall, fell, hang, hung, miss, missed, catch, caught, start, started, tousle, tousled, pass, passed, pluck, plucked, blind, blinded, crush, crushed, awake, awoke, rattle, rattled, pierce, pierced.

The virus downloads a WAV file called HAIKU.WAV from an internet website, and stores it in the root directory of the C: drive. This WAV file is played and then deleted..

Listen to the WAV now.