Jailed worm author offered job by victim

$133K salary awaits Fujacks fiend


A Chinese virus writer sent to jail for four years earlier this week has been offered a well-paying job by one of his victims.

Li Jun, 25, played a central role in a malware-fueled scam that led to the infection of hundreds of thousands of Windows PCs across the country.

The Fujacks worm he created converted icons of infected programs into a picture of a panda burning joss sticks, while surreptitiously stealing the user names and passwords of online games players. The worm infected an estimated one million Windows PCs in China, the worst ever outbreak.

According to Chinese media reports, Li has been offered a job paying a million yuan ($133,000) a year as technology director with Jushu Technology, a Hangzhou City-based firm that was one of the victims of the worm.

Li's lawyers said Jushu is one of 10 firms who've offered jobs to the "precious genius".

Security watchers reacted with bewilderment to the news that a jailed virus writer has been offered a job by one of the organisations he succeeded in infecting. "It's important that the IT community does not send out a message that writing viruses or worms is cool, or a fast track into employment," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos.

"Li Jun broke the law and infected innocent people's computers and websites, causing financial damage. To reward his criminal act, infamy and bad behavior with a job offer in the IT industry is frankly perverse.

"Virus writers have proven themselves to be untrustworthy and to have a weak sense of morals - otherwise they wouldn't release their malware in the first place," he adds.

Li is not the first virus writer to gain a job offer off the back of the infamy that comes from writing high-profile malware. Jan de Wit, author of the Anna Kournikova worm, should be offered work in his local council's IT department, the mayor of the town of Sneek suggested. Sven Jaschan, author of the prolific Netsky and Sasser worms, was hired by a German IT security firm. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading
  • American diplomats' iPhones reportedly compromised by NSO Group intrusion software

    Reuters claims nine State Department employees outside the US had their devices hacked

    The Apple iPhones of at least nine US State Department officials were compromised by an unidentified entity using NSO Group's Pegasus spyware, according to a report published Friday by Reuters.

    NSO Group in an email to The Register said it has blocked an unnamed customers' access to its system upon receiving an inquiry about the incident but has yet to confirm whether its software was involved.

    "Once the inquiry was received, and before any investigation under our compliance policy, we have decided to immediately terminate relevant customers’ access to the system, due to the severity of the allegations," an NSO spokesperson told The Register in an email. "To this point, we haven’t received any information nor the phone numbers, nor any indication that NSO’s tools were used in this case."

    Continue reading
  • Utility biz Delta-Montrose Electric Association loses billing capability and two decades of records after cyber attack

    All together now - R, A, N, S, O...

    A US utility company based in Colorado was hit by a ransomware attack in November that wiped out two decades' worth of records and knocked out billing systems that won't be restored until next week at the earliest.

    The attack was detailed by the Delta-Montrose Electric Association (DMEA) in a post on its website explaining that current customers won't be penalised for being unable to pay their bills because of the incident.

    "We are a victim of a malicious cyber security attack. In the middle of an investigation, that is as far as I’m willing to go," DMEA chief exec Alyssa Clemsen Roberts told a public board meeting, as reported by a local paper.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021