Hoax. See www.e-secure-it.us Global security News
A hoax message posted to two security mailing lists Monday suggests that the
Recording Industry Association of America has hired a group of hackers who
have developed a worm capable of infecting and shutting down peer-to-peer
file-sharing software. The hackers claim to have released the worm, on the
RIAA's orders, and that it now controls almost 95 percent of "all P2P
participating hosts." The RIAA said the message was a total fabrication.
"It's a complete hoax," said an RIAA spokesman in Washington. "Someone
forwarded the message to us and that was the first we heard or read about
it." The outlandish claims are part of a "security advisory" supposedly
written by a group called Gobbles Security. However, the message bears
little resemblance to the group's other advisories and also seems to make
fun of Gobbles' habit of posting vulnerability information and exploits
without notifying affected vendors in advance.
From: blitz [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, 15 January 2003 2:17 p.m.
Subject: FYI: Anyone seen this?
>By Andrew Orlowski in San Francisco
>The RIAA is preparing to infect MP3 files in order to audit and
>eventually disable file swapping, according to a startling claim by
>hacker group Gobbles. In a posting to the Bugtraq mailing list,
>Gobbles himself claims to have offered his code to the RIAA, creating
>a monitoring "hydra".
>"Several months ago, GOBBLES Security was recruited by the RIAA
>(riaa.org) to invent, create, and finally deploy the future of
>antipiracy tools. We focused on creating virii/worm hybrids to infect
>and spread over p2p nets," writes Gobbles.
>"Until we became RIAA contracters [sic], the best they could do was to
>passively monitor traffic. Our contributions to the RIAA have given
>them the power to actively control the majority of hosts using these
>Gobbles claims that when a peer to peer host is infected, it catalogs
>media and sends the information "back to the RIAA headquarters
>(through specifically crafter requests over the p2p networks) where it
>is added to their records", and also propagates the exploit to other
>"Our software worked better than even we hoped, and current reports
>indicate that nearly 95% of all p2p-participating hosts are now
>infected with the software that we developed for the RIAA."
>The "hydra" is uncorroborated.
>Gobbles attached two pieces of code, one of which jinglebellz.c
>details a frame header exploit for the Linux player mpg123. The code
>chastises OpenBSD lead Theo de Raadt for failing to checksum the
>public MP3s (written to celebrate each OpenBSD release). The group has
>singled out OpenBSD in its previous exploits
>In their presentation to last year's DefCon, the group described
>itself as "the largest active nonprofit security group in existence
>(that favors full disclosure)," consisting of 17+ members.
>"They're real, and they're damn good. They have made what appeared to
>be extremely exaggerated claims in the past, and when mocked, they
>have demonstrated that they are serious," one security expert familiar
>with their work, who declined to be named, told The Register.
>"He's a funny guy," De Raadt told us. "This is a buffer overflow
>exploit," he confirmed. De Raadt said he was more concerned by social
>engineering than by external exploits. "We had Fluffy Bunny, now we
>have Gobbles. They come in waves. "
>An exploit of this nature is of dubious legality, right now, but
>language in Howard Berman's "P2P Piracy Prevention" bill last year
>legitimizing such exploits was backed by RIAA chief Hilary Rosen:-
>The Berman bill, ensured a copyright owner would not be liable for
>"disabling, interfering with, blocking, diverting, or otherwise
>impairing the unauthorized distribution, display, performance, or
>reproduction of his or her copyrighted work on a publicly accessible
>peer-to-peer file trading network, if such impairment does not,
>without authorization, alter, delete, or otherwise impair the
>integrity of any computer file or data residing on the computer of a
>file trader." Berman is expected to re-introduce the bill in this