Hackers disguise Trojan horse as sleazy David Beckham photographs, Sophos reports

October 12, 2004 Sophos Press Release

David and Victoria Beckham
The latest Trojan distribution feeds on interest in David Beckham and his popstar wife Victoria

Experts at Sophos have warned computer users that a file posing as photographic evidence that international soccer star David Beckham has been having an affair is in fact infected by the Hackarmy Trojan horse.

Thousands of messages have been posted onto internet message boards and usenet newsgroups claiming that the British football player, who is married to former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, has been photographed in a compromising position. The Trojan distribution comes amid continuing rumours in the tabloid press about the state of the Beckhams' marriage.

The messages point to a website where a file can be downloaded, purporting to contain photographs. In reality the file contains a Trojan horse which can allow hackers to gain remote control of an innocent computer.

A typical message reads as follows:

David Beckham of Real Madrid was caught by photographers with his pants down. Early in the morning he was photographed with a Spanish hooker in a rather compromising position. Photos yet to hit the newspapers have been released here.
<url removed>

"Hackers and virus writers will try all kinds of tricks to entice people into downloading their malicious code - now they are trying to suggest that England's football captain David Beckham has been playing away from home," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "The public's appetite for salacious gossip about the private life of the Beckhams might lead some into an unpleasant computer infection."

Sophos continues to recommend computer users practise safe computing as well as running up-to-date anti-virus software.

The people behind Hackarmy have used similar tricks to entice unsuspecting users into infection in the past - having claimed in previous distributions of the Trojan horse that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Osama Bin Laden had been found dead.