China and Worms (not a culinary post)

October 29, 2008

Hi, I’m back from my long trip in China. It was great, and I have too many stories to tell. I would’ve written some posts during my trip, but my blog seems to be blocked by China’s firewall (wordpress in general is not!). How curious is that?

At any rate, I got back and was eager to try out my (very cheap) newly acquired 32GB USB-flash of a company of dubious credibility. Plugging it in, I noticed something odd with my computer, so I looked deeper into it. Apparently the USB contains a variant of Trojan.VBS.Small out-of-the-box. They probably sell it like that to all of their customers. A conspiracy? Evil schemes? All this popped to my head, but unlikely: The worm festively announces its presence by changing IE’s window title and the desktop background. And while the worm takes a lot of trouble to spread, it seems to do nothing else at all. This almost seems like a harmless joke. It is as if some angry employee in that company decided it would make an excellent practical joke. Or maybe it’s a subtle message meaning “Screw you, rich foreigners!”

This way or the other, I’ve reversed everything the worm did (it’s rather easy) and am now the proud owner of a cheap and working flash drive. Thank you China!