Instead of the proverbial “gotcha letter” via your ISP, a mysterious copyright holder has created a trojan that overwrites P2P users program files with popular comic book character images warning them not to use P2P.
An odd tale of “cat and mouse” is being reported from Japanese users of the Winny P2P file-sharing network, in that a particularly lethal form of malware is being distributed that overwrites their program files with a popular comic book star who scolds them for illegally downloading files.
One of the images, which oddly enough sings a song about fish-shaped pancakes filled with bean jam, includes a phone number, though it has yet to be checked to see if it belongs to the real malware author.
Apparently not content with the ubiquitous “Dear Mr. John Doe” letter, somebody has taken the fight against illegal file-sharing nuclear.
The Trojan poses as a harmless screensaver, though why anybody would want to download a screensaver in the first place is beyond me.
“This is one of the most bizarre pieces of malware we have seen in our labs for quite some time, but it’s data-destroying payload is no laughing matter,” said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. “But it acts as a timely reminder to companies that they may want to control users’ access to P2P file-sharing software not just because they can eat up bandwidth, but also because they can present a security risk to your corporate data.”
It reportedly targets programs, music files, and e-mail boxes, affecting files the following types of files:
EXE, BAT, CMD, INI, ASP, HTM, HTML, PHP, CLASS, JAVA, DBX, EML, MBX, TBB, WAB, HLP, TXT, MP3, XLS, LOG, BMP
The notion of somebody going to such extremes to target illegal file-sharers actually makes me kind of laugh but, I’m sure the poor fellows who are now staring at some creepy singing anime character aren’t laughing one bit as the PC files are slowly eaten away. Maybe that’s where the “pancakes filled with bean jam” song comes in, people’s files have become a digital breakfast.
Here’s one of the Trojan images below. It reads:
“Ah, I see you are using P2P again…if you don’t stop in 0.5 seconds, I’m going to kill you.” Talk about a threat boy, jeeze.
Say what? “I’m going to kill you?” That’s just plain wrong and borderline sadistic.
Here’s a few more (clockwise from left):
“This is a visit from the prevealant Piro virus! Stop P2P! If you don’t I’ll tell the police!”
“Even though Kaneko-San was found guilty, you’re still using Winny aren’t you. I really hate such people!”
“Ugu! It’s me, Ayu Tsukimaya! I think I might start destroying downloaded files and P2P software now…”
“Taiyaki, taiyaki, oh I’d liek to eat some…If you don’t bring me some, I’ll destroy your files…If you don’t stop using Winny, I’ll expose you to the police….My phone number is XXXXXXXX….”
So I think this Trojan is obviously part of some sort of plan to scare the dickens out of young, impressionable, Japanese schoolchildren, who are fans of these comic-book characters and are also likely to scare easily with threats of “I’m gonna kill you” or of “calling the police”
I’ll admit it may be effective with young kids, it might’ve even scared me straight I think but, in reality it will most certainly only backfire as parents have to soon start consoling their children over how their favorite comic book character is dancing on their PC screen, deleting all of their kids files,and threatening to “kill them” or “turn them in to the police.” I wonder how you say lawsuit in Japanese.
Threatening to kill P2P users is taking the war against illegal file-sharing to a hole new level. Have Japanese copyright-holders in fact gone “nuclear” in their fight?