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Major blunder: virus mailed to Google Video blog subscribers
by Konstantin Kornakov | Nov 09 2006 13:35 GMT

Google made itself a target for criticism this week by sending out a well-known email worm to more than 50,000 users of its Google Video service who were members of a related discussion blog group. The Kama Sutra worm was contained in several messages, which were distributed by Google to these users late on Tuesday. According to the Internet giant, "three posts were made to the Google Video blog that should not have been posted.” The problem has since been addressed and the offending messages removed. However, users who have received an email containing the Kama Sutra virus from Google have been recommended to run their antivirus software in order to remove the worm.

The Google Video blog is a free information service used by Google to notify its users about new "interesting and fun” videos from Google Video. It currently has 50,112 members, who receive daily updates from Google about new content on its video uploading service directly to their email. The company's Video Team is responsible for posting new content, and it is precisely that team of Google employees that was responsible for sending out the email containing malicious content, a spokesperson has admitted. However, according to Google sources, new protocols have been put in place to make a repeat of this blunder impossible in the future.

The question remains open, however, about how the company had managed to send out messages infected with the Kama Sutra worm (also widely known as Nyxem) in the first place. This worm first reached the news at the beginning of the year, when it began circulating in the wild, luring users with supposed offerings of pornography or pictures from the Kama Sutra. It was seen as an "old style” type of virus that required significant user interaction in order to infect victim computers, and was intended to wipe certain types of files on infected machines, starting on 3 February 2006 and the third of each month thereafter. At its height as many as 600,000 computers across the world were thought to have been infected, but the worm itself can be easily removed by antivirus software.


Google Video Blog