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Security Response

Virus writers are funny

Created: 16 Aug 2006 07:00:00 GMT • Updated: 23 Jan 2014 18:57:50 GMT
Peter Ferrie's picture
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In February of this year, Virus Bulletin published one of my articlesin which I was speculating about the meaning of a message that acertain virus was displaying. My questions were in regard to the W32.Idonus virusand more specifically, the word "Genetix" that was displayed. Whenexecuted, the virus randomly (a one in 1,983 chance) chose whether ornot to display the message “GeNeTiX is EVIL!”

In the VirusBulletin article I suggested that “Genetix” could be referring to aparticular molecular biology company, an anti-GMO food organization, orperhaps something else entirely. Well, as it turned out, the term“Genetix” was actually referring to a person. Not just any person, itseems, but the actual virus writer. In an attempt to make this clear,the virus writer has created a new virus (W32.Letum)that displays a message explaining what the term “Genetix” refers to,or, should I say “who” the term refers to. To top it all off, anothervirus exists that was written by Genetix where, in the source code,there is another comment to the same effect.

So, like I said: virus writers are funny. This latest episode onlyadds to the multitude of interesting (if not notorious) quirks when itcomes to the behaviors of virus authors. This game of cat-and-mouse maynever end, but in this particular case the mouse seems indignant enoughto think that it is making a difference. So, while the mouse is offdiligently working on a new plan to evade capture (or, to defiantlyreiterate its name) we can all enjoy a laugh at their expense duringour much needed coffee break.