Attack Of The "Omnivore" Virus

Fake News written by James Baughn on Friday, July 27, 2001

from the munch-munch-munch dept.

For years, we here at Humorix have been investigating evil conspiracies concocted by everyone's favorite monopoly, Microsoft.

What a waste of time. While we've been twiddling our thumbs, everyone's favorite privacy-invading law enforcement agency has been concocting the most sinister, audacious, vile conspiracy in the history of... conspiracies. We're talking about the Federal Bureau of Investigation & Privacy Violations.

A handful of former geeks have joined the dark side to create the world's most deadly computer virus. During the past three months, they have toiled away in the secret "Janet Reno Laboratory" at a bunker somewhere in North Dakota to produce "Omnivore", the FBI&PV's ticket to world domination.

Omnivore is not your typical virus written by some script kiddie with poor English skills. This supervirus utilizes all of the hot PHB buzzwords -- it's cross-platform, it's polymorphic, it's peer-to-peer, and it's proactive. Omnivore extracts sensitive documents from the hard drives of its victims, and then uses a combination of email, FTP, Gopher, HTTP, NNTP, IRC, and IM protocols to deliver the goods back to the FBI&PV.

A beta version of this virus has already been unleashed to the unsuspecting world -- "SirCam", or "SirCam Intelligently Records & Collects All Material". SirCam only infects those machines that have already been infected with Microsoft Windows and Outlook and need to be thinned from the herd. Omnivore won't be so forgiving.

If you're running Linux, don't look so smug. The Good Ole Days of laughing at those poor Windows schmucks will soon come to an end. The Omnivore virus exploits a security hole in certain versions of Pine and other mail readers that enable it to execute arbitrary Perl scripts automatically as root.

According to our Vast Spy Network(tm), several shipments of Red Hat Linux CDs were hijacked last month after leaving the factory. We have reason to believe that these CDs were replaced with forged discs containing altered, insecure versions of Pine. It's not entirely clear whether the FBI&PV is responsible, or whether some other organization bent on world domination made the switch-a-roo. Either way, tens of thousands of Linux boxes are ripe for infection.

And if you're running Windows 2000, or Mac OS, or BeOS, or even OS/2, don't look so smug. Omnivore knows about at least one exploit on your system. The only way to protect yourself from the coming epidemic is to unplug your machine and relocate to some nice, obscure place the FBI&PV doesn't care about -- Kathmandu, Abu Dhabi, or maybe the North Pole. (Well, the virus won't infect computers running MS-DOS. But installing DOS on a machine is almost the same as unplugging it. So why bother?)

The FBI&PV -- in cooperation with the National Park Service and the Bureau of Missing Socks -- is expected to unleash Omnivore into the wild within the next 30 days. Infected machines will propogate the virus, send sensitive documents to the FBI&PV, initiate denial-of-service attacks against the websites of anti-virus software producers, and will finally begin to log all keystrokes and mouse movements, sending periodic updates to the FBI&PV. All of this will occur transparently without the user's notice, although some people may experience glacial slowness while the virus uploads their entire pornography and MP3 library to the FBI's master database.

The virus contains a self-destruct sequence that will activate if the user attempts to install anti-virus software or otherwise attempts to remove the virus. This self-destruct code exploits a flaw in certain models of Pentium CPUs which can cause them to overheat and literally explode under certain conditions. If the virus can't cause the computer to blow up, it will instead format the hard drive.

Once the virus spreads across the globe, the FBI&PV will have access to all of the sensitive information it needs to successfully pursue world domination. Anybody with any kind of incriminating files on their hard drive -- MP3s, ROT13 decryption tools, pornography, electronic copies of "Tax Evasion For Dummies", DeCSS, pirated versions of Windows and Solitaire, even virus creation kits -- will suddenly find themselves in jail.

Once a large portion of the US population is behind bars, the rest of the sheeple should fall in line rather quickly. Meanwhile, all of the other sensitive information collected by Omnivore should be enough to eventually conquer the entire world.

Be afraid. Be very afraid!

This virus warning is intended as a fake hoax and should not be treated as a real hoax. We will not tolerate any anti-virus software producer making a copy of this warning to post on their website as an example of a real virus hoax. This message is encrypted with ROT26; any anti-virus maker who ignores this message will be charged with a crime under the DMCA (and we'll also file a libel lawsuit for insinuating that we are spreading a misleading real hoax when we are in fact only spreading a fake hoax.)

The above article is fake; we shall not be held liable if you or somebody else suffers a heart attack as a result of believing that the FBI is plotting world domination (when in reality it's the NSA that's engaged in a global conspiracy). So there.

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