Virus writers have moved on from using Osama bin Laden's or Arnold Schwarzenegger's supposed suicides as a lure to trying a similar trick involving "compromising pictures" of football superstar David Beckham.
VXers have seeded multiple Usenet groups with messages claiming that they have photographic proof Becks (AKA Golden Balls) has been having an affair, pointing users towards the supposed evidence. In reality this file offers only the Hackarmy Trojan. Beginning in July virus writers used the same trick to try to con users into believing the same Trojan was either a suicide note from Arnold Schwarzenegger, photographs depicting Osama Bin Laden's supposed untimely demise or "footage" of slain American hostage Nick Berg, who was beheaded by Iraqi insurgents in May.
Hackarmy has been around for some months and the Usenet spamming ploy is being repeatedly used in an attempt to give the aging malware a repeated lease of life. In its latest such wheeze the Trojan is punted through messages such as the one below:
David Beckham of Real Madrid was caught by photographers with his pants down. Early in the morning he was photographed with a Spanish hooker in a rather compromising position. Photos yet to hit the newspapers have been released here... [url removed]
The Trojan distribution comes amid continuing rumours in the tabloid press about the state of the Beckham's marriage to his highly talented singer wife Victoria. "Hackers and virus writers will try all kinds of tricks to entice people into downloading their malicious code - now they are trying to suggest that England's football captain David Beckham has been playing away from home," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "The public's appetite for salacious gossip about the private life of the Beckhams might lead some into an unpleasant computer infection." ®