New E-Mail Virus Plugs Palestinian Cause

Wednesday, August 29, 2001 | Tag Cloud Tags: ,

New E-Mail Virus Plugs Palestinian Cause
A nondestructive e-mail virus sent around the world yesterday to trumpet the cause of the Palestinians could lead to an escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian cyber-war, computer security experts said Tuesday.

The virus, called "Injustice," carries an attachment that, once opened, drops a copy of itself into the Windows system directory and displays a message box titled: "Dear [e-mail address]/ Sir> Did you send the attached message, I was not expecting this from you!!"

"Please accept my apologies for disturbing you," says the attachment text. "We need every possible help [sic]. Israeli soldiers killed in cold blood 12 year old Palestinian child Mohammad Al-Durra, as his father tried to protect him in vain... These criminal acts cannot be forgiven or forgotten!!! Help us to stop the blood shed!! [sic]"

The attachment then sends itself out to the first 50 addresses in the recipient's address book and to 24 Israeli government and political e-mail addresses such as the defense minister, the industry and trade minister, the Knesset Speaker, the foreign minister, the police inspector-general and a non-profit organization for former premier Ehud Barak.

"As far as I know, this is the first politically motivated virus using mass-mailing techniques," said Jack Clark, the European product manager of the security applications service provider McAfee, which is already offering protection against the virus. "At the moment it is moving slowly, but it is on our radar."

A senior consultant to an Internet security company said he is not sure all the government e-mail addresses that the virus is sending itself to actually exist, and noted that the virus, once activated, also tries to access pro-Palestinian Web sites using the recipient's Internet Explorer. "We are not sure what they are trying to do, but it is quite polite; they have a notice set up in the code of the virus explaining what it is doing," he said.

It was not immediately clear how extensively the virus has spread. The Foreign Ministry, which has come under cyber attack in the past, said it has not received any e-mails with the virus.

Used with Permission from International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.

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