Italian senate hit by gay porn worm attack, Sophos comments

November 24, 2004 Sophos Press Release

Rbot worm allows hackers into compromised computers via a backdoor

Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against viruses and spam, has reminded organisations to ensure appropriate network security defences are in place as reports of the Italian senate being disrupted by hackers have appeared in the media.

According to media reports, the Italian senate in Rome was ground to a halt as it was hit by one of the many variants of the Rbot worm. The worm allowed hackers to display hardcore homosexual pornography on monitors around the organisation. First noticed on Monday night, computers in the senate chamber, and every senator's office, were said to have been affected by Tuesday morning.

The Rbot family of worms includes backdoor functionality which allows remote hackers to gain access to infected computers, steal information and even - in some cases - monitor computer users via their webcams.

Sophos recommends companies protect their computers with a consolidated solution to thwart the virus and spam threats as well as secure their desktop and servers with automatically updated anti-virus protection.