Sunday, April 24, 2005

MP3s? What Mp3s?

Casey Dorrell

On Friday I was going to tell you about a new virus. Then, I got my own virus and was unable to get on the internet. Har har. Now I'm back.

A new virus (read: malware worm) dubbed Nopir-B surfaced a few days ago and was first identified by Sophos, an internet security company. The cleverly dubbed "nopir" is short for no pirates. It's not a particularly wide-spread virus because of its method of transmission. The worm, which was made in France, poses as a DVD-cracking program, a program that lets you get around the copy-right technology built into DVDs. Right now the virus has only been seen on P2P programs.

The fun part comes when you try to run the "DVD-cracker." First Nopir-B deletes all MP3 files, then it attempts to disable or delete programs it finds particularly offensive, mostly P2P file-sharing programs, .COM applications and some system utilities. The virus only works on computers running Windows.

The typical Mp3 Downloader
This could be your neighbour!

Graham Cluley, the senior technology consultant for Sophos, described the virus as entirely indiscriminate given its aparent purpose:

"The Nopir-B worm targets people it believes may be involved in piracy, but fails to discriminate between the true criminals and those who may have legally obtained MP3 files. Whichever side of the fence you come down on in regards to internet piracy, there's no debate about the criminal nature of this worm."

Once it has effectively crippled your computer, a window with the title text, "Intelligence Resource Program, Cyberbob 33 BX, The French Hacker" pops up, accompanied by a poorly rendered picture depicting a "man-in-black" type character. The oh-so-clever text, "F*** the Pirates..MP3..Games ETC!!!" adds that classy touch.

Nopir pop-up
No, no, You don't actually have the virus. This is a screenshot.

Once you have the virus, DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER. If you have enough functionality left, back-up any programs you want and get ready to wipe the hard-drive. Once the computer is off, the system will simply reset every time Windows starts to load. Most virus programs should soon have updates that recognize the malware.

Little is known about the author. Judging from the pop-up, his intellect rests mostly in the technical arena. A 26 year-old "computer specialist," his graphic design and writing skills could use some work. A RIAA or MPAA scapegoat? Probably not, but still would a more precise covert operation like this really be that unlikely? Do a google search for some of the scary proprietary functions that Microsoft is busy developing.

Streets - Fit But You Know It (On Follow up to "Original Pirate Material")

Comments on "MP3s? What Mp3s?"


Blogger Andy Dabydeen said ... (24/4/05 11:21 pm) : 

No self-respecting hacker would put something like this out in the wild -- this has the stink of the RIAA all over it.


Blogger mfd said ... (25/4/05 1:27 am) : 

Or an unself-respecting hacker.


Blogger Johnny said ... (25/4/05 2:03 pm) : 

Dude, the RIAA can't even copy protect a CD properly. I don't think they have the talent to do something as complicated at this. Besides, if the money trail led back to the RIAA then they'd be fucked. But hey, interesting conspiracy theory.


Blogger Casey Dorrell said ... (25/4/05 6:45 pm) : 

Hey johnny,

Sarcasm. :D


Anonymous mOe said ... (25/4/05 7:39 pm) : 


i always feel a pang in my heart when i hear about people losing all of their mp3's... although, yes, they can be gotten back. but using myself as an example, it has taken me quite some time to gather all the mp3's i have now. with some very hard to get...

such a sad sad tale of woe you told...


Blogger Casey Dorrell said ... (25/4/05 7:42 pm) : 

sorry.. didn't mean to upset thee :)

And Johnny, my brain has serious lag. I thought you were referring to the article and not the "self-respecting" hacker.. oops.


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