The Latest Threat to File-Sharing – Pictures of Squid-Octopus?

In what has to be one of the strangest file-sharing stories seen in a long time, a Japanese virus writer said he wanted to punish file-sharing users by uploading viruses onto their computers which would change the icons of files to pictures of the “squid-octopus”. The writer was arrested for violating probation.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

The report comes from the Japan Times where a Japanese virus writer was arrested after creating malware that would turn the icons of a victims computer into pictures of the “squid-octopus”.

“I wanted to see if my programming skills had improved or not. I (also) wanted to punish users of file-sharing software,” Nakatsuji was quoted as saying by police.

Masato Nakatsuj, the author of the virus, is now the first person charged with tampering with computer data by Japanese police. Nakatsuj was on probation from a previous incident of spreading malware on a file-sharing network. That virus infected roughly 50,000 machines.

The sad part is that a virus is probably one of the more useless ways of attacking a file-sharing network since all one has to do is keep anti-virus software updated. Some file-sharing clients that connect to open networks even allow users to distribute blacklisted files which are known to carry viruses. There are even comment systems as featured in clients like e-Mule that can warn file-sharers whenever a file is fake (though, in e-Mule, looking up the file-names on a given hash is often the simplest way of figuring out when a file is fake, corrupted or possibly has a virus in it) All-in-all, in writing this virus, the author had everything to lose and nothing to gain.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.



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