New worm provides sad snapshot of virus writer psyche, says Sophos

August 27, 2002 Sophos Press Release

Jennifer LopezThe Duload worm (W32/Duload-A), which has the potential to infect PCs connected to the KaZaA file sharing network, may be a damp squib when it comes to infecting users, but it certainly provides an interesting insight into the topics that may occupy many virus writers' minds, according to Sophos.

The Duload worm randomly creates disguises for itself using a pool of 39 filenames. These filenames - which reflect a preoccupation with sex, celebrity, computer games and hacking - include 'J. Lo Bikini Screensaver.exe', 'Kama Sutra Tetris.exe', 'Free Mpegs.exe' and 'The Sims Game crack.exe', as well as some pornographic references.

"Duload provides a snapshot of many virus writers' minds. Often obsessed with sex and computer games, virus writers are much more likely to be teenage males than crack cyberterrorists bent on the annihilation of the internet," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Let's all hope that when the new school term begins, these youths will find their time is taken up with homework, giving them less opportunity to write computer viruses."

Although Sophos has not received reports of the Duload worm from the wild, Sophos reminds all computer users to keep their anti-virus protection up-to-date and practise safe computing.

"Perhaps the most pitiful aspect of the Duload worm is that the virus author managed to type one of the filenames incorrectly - 'Alicia Silverstone Payboy Nude.exe'", continued Cluley. "You would have thought the name of a top shelf magazine would have been one detail he would have got right."