Feature

Mayor sings praises of Anna virus writer

If you want fame and adulation, forget about becoming a rock star or a football hero - write a virus instead. The authors of the Anna Kournikova and Love Bug viruses have both become celebrities through their anti-social behaviour.

The mayor of the Anna Kournikova virus writer's home town of Sneek is so pleased with the publicity raining down on his town that he has invited the geek from Sneek to come in for a "serious interview" after he completes his studies. The mayor says, "It is in our interest to employ people like him in our IT department."

Computer Weekly looks forward to writing about the "Increase my salary or the mayor's Inbox gets fragged" virus.

Don't fear Bruno virus

Thanks for all the ideas for future virus names you have sent in. Matt King writes, "How about 'Virus Warning from Microsoft/AOL'. Judging from the amount of warnings for hoax viruses in my inbox from concerned newbies you wouldn't even need to write the replication code!"

Greg Evans goes for, "How about the Frank Bruno virus? Looks quite menacing but is dead easy to remove!"

And Gavin Brett says, " I will put £10 on 'hi big boy' being a virus name within the next two years. If someone sent me a message with that I would open it like a shot." Really, Brett.

Hacker's 1471 blunder

With all this hacking going on it is not surprising companies are being warned to keep up to date with the latest security technology. However, it is not always the whizz-bang IT that saves the day, as a schoolboy hacker found out to his cost recently.

A technically-minded young fellow phoned up security company Intensiti claiming to have damaging information about the company's security and threatened to release this unless he was paid a hefty cash ransom. A foolproof plan surely?

Not for this fool. On the off chance, consultant Stephen Ward, who took the call, dialled 1471 and bingo, the hacker was traced, leading to an embarrassing arrest for the 15-year-old in front of all his schoolmates.

Microsoft's 69 success

Reader Paul Miller lets us in on this amusing tale. "I was looking for some clipart from the Microsoft design gallery at dgl.microsoft.com/ and wanted something to illustrate 'success'. I therefore set up a search using the aforementioned keyword and the 'results should be motion' option.

"Of the two graphics that came back, one was of a man at the top of what looked like a building. I clicked the graphic in order to get a preview to be greeted with the phrase 'show more by style 69'. "I could not resist the temptation, despite what you hear about such messages and viruses. This was Microsoft, after all.

"Apart from a graphic of a man doing something with an enormous tool, I can't see what they are on about!"


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This was first published in February 2001

 

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