Wireless TV virus

Category: Virus hoax Discovered On: 12 Apr 2005
Type: hoaxUpdated On: 08 Jun 2006


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 take precautions.

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.

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