Having trouble accessing The Register lately? It may not be your crap porn filter, or the ebone shutdown spilling over into DNS error reports at several ISPs. You may need deworming.
For virus writers have created a worm which, among other tricks, blocks access to El Reg.
The Gunsan is a mass-mailing worm which infects local drives and network shares. On infected machines, it opens a backdoor that allows a cracker to control the computer using IRC.
Gunsan has spread modestly since its discovery late last month. It deletes files needed by antivirus and firewall products (including all files that contain mcafee, softice, numega, antivirus, anti-virus, win32dasm, sophos, catsclaw, claw95, lockdown, symantec, firewall, virusscan, virus-scan, fprot, f-prot, zone labs, or atguard in their path). Gunsan only affects Windows PCs and can cause system instability by deleting important system files.
The worm also alters the \%Windows\Hosts file, which contains DNS configuration information, and modifies it so that the names of AV Web sites - and The Register - so that they are resolved to the address of the local computer.
It's the first worm we're aware of that stops infected users reading the Register.
Gunsan spreads by sending itself along with another e-mail message to all e-mail addresses it collects on the infected machine. Infected messages normally come with a subject header containing a single space character and an infected attachment 'Test.exe'.
Users are advised to update their antivirus software to detect the worm and to resist the temptation to open unsolicited email attachments.
And in entirely unrelated news, a Cambridge, UK company called Mathworks has developed a new electronic horsewhip - called The Register.
This "has been developed to allay growing criticism over cruelty to animals in racing.
The whip has sensors in its tip that can measure and record each blow, with MathWorks MATLAB technology reading the electronic signals."
A couple of readers have asked us if this is a tribute to the UK's most popular IT website. We don't think so, but if it is, it's a bloody weird one.
We recently came across a sex site called PronPost which is carrying an ad for Reg Recruitment because, the webmaster explains "i like the register... just thought i'd send some traffic your way ;)".
Every little helps. ®