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New Romanian Virus Speculates On Iraqi Crisis

April 2005

Spreading high, deletes files as well, say BitDefender Labs

A new virus is in the wild, European producer of antivirus BitDefender warned today. The virus, dubbed Antiman.A, speculates on a recent and tragic story involving the kidnapping of three Romanian journalists, abducted by a little-known terrorist Iraqi group approximately a month ago.

The subject line of the infected message is in Romanian and it varies from: "Voteaza azi!" ("Vote today"), "Antivirus," "Antimanele" ("Against Gypsy music"), to "Cum a murit Papa?" ("How did the Pope die?"). At the same time, the message body is also in Romanian, and among others, it calls for people to vote in a virtual poll concerning the withdrawal of Romanian troops from Iraq, or it pretends to be the latest version of an antivirus, which can solve "all your problems." Once executed, the malicious code erases each and all files which contain the names of well-known Gipsy music singers.

"The author of this piece of malware is most certainly a Romanian citizen, who has designed it in order to show his deep discontent with the ever increasing popularity of Gypsy music in Romania. Despite the fact that technically it is a very simple code, the virus is spreading at an amazing speed throughout Romania, due to the skilful social engineering tricks employed by its author," stated BitDefender CTO, Bogdan Dumitru.

A full description of the virus, as well as a free removal tool are available on the BitDefender website.