Paul Glenerson B. Amurao, a 21 year old Filipino, has claimed in
a media interview to be the author of the first virus to attempt to
infect .JPG graphic files. Amurao, who says he lives in a province
north of Metro Manila, Philippines, said he was the author of
an interview he gave to INQ7.Net.
Amurao claimed that he wrote the virus using Microsoft Visual
Basic 6, bought from a local retailer during a school fair at the
University of the Philippines.
In the interview Amurao claimed that W32/Perrun was "like a
time-triggered bomb waiting to explode."
"This is perhaps what virus researchers are afraid of. But thank
god, somehow I was able to make them aware," he added.
"W32/Perrun-A is more hype than havoc. The virus is not in the
wild, is not likely to be, and the JPEG infection method only works
if the user is already infected by a Windows executable virus,"
said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos
Anti-Virus."However, it's disturbing to see another virus being
written in the Philippines, and that malware authors over there may
consider it a cool thing to do."
The Philippines is no stranger to virus writing, being the birth
place of the Love Bug (or VBS/LoveLet-A worm)
which spread around the world in May 2000. Onel de Guzman, the
suspected author of the Love Bug, was detained by the authorities
but later released without charge because the Filipino authorities
did not have sophisticated computer crime laws at the time of the
offence. Laws designed to combat computer misuse were only
introduced in June 2000 by the Philippines authorities as a result
of the Love Bug incident.
Sophos has issued protection against
W32/Perrun-A to customers concerned by the media reports and
alerts from other anti-virus vendors.