On 1 April 2005, VNU journalist Iain Thomson wrote an April
Fool story about a supposed new wireless virus which was
said to spread via TV signals. The virus was said to seek
out and infect any electronic device with a clock.
Despite obviously being an April Fool, a number of websites
republished the story believing it to be factual.
The text of the hoax reads as follows:
Wireless TV virus wreaking havoc
A new wireless virus has had security experts warning all households to
Gregor.A was first detected in the early hours of the morning in Australia
and has quickly spread via wireless connections and TV signals. Once
activated it seeks out any electronic device with a clock, which is then
reset to zero, before sending itself on.
"We've been talking about zero day attacks for quite some time and now
someone has taken us seriously," said Professor Aprille Eine of the
government's new computer research centre OFVIR.
"We are very concerned that people are not reacting quickly enough to face
the threat from this attack. When its payload is activated there could be
chaos in homes across the country."
The government is urging people to check around their homes for signs of
infection and disconnect any appliances that are showing a clock with
flashing zeros. Computers, videos and TVs are all susceptible.
Antivirus firms are working on a signature and expect to have a solution
by the end of the day.