Political Viruses & Worms



Viruses and Worms that appear to be politically motivated are not new, but Stian recently informed me about (more here) a worm circulating in China that apparently links to or contains references to “A Survey of Chinese Peasants“.

A Survey of Chinese Peasants is an expos´┐Ż on the inequality and injustice forced upon the Chinese peasantry, who number about 900 million. The book describes what the authors term to be a guaiquan, or vicious circle, where unjust taxes and the arbitrariness of authorities, sometimes resulting in extreme violence against the peasants, is the norm.

The worm modifies the hosts file so that some 937 domains point to 222.89.98.219. The server at that IP is no longer accessible.

The earliest political worm, known as WANK, targeted the HEPnet and the NASA SPAN networks to protest the development of nuclear weapons in 1989. Since then there have been several others that have some level of political motivation ascribed to them. It is worth noting that the number of these viruses and worms is an infinitesimal percentage of the many thousands of worms/viruses out there.

  • Mawanella: A virus that appeared in 2001 describing the burning down of two mosques and one hundred Muslim-owned shops in Mawanella.
  • Injustice: A worm that appeared in 2001 protesting the killing of 12 year old Palestinian child Mohammad Al-Durra.
  • Vote-A: A 2001 worm that calls for a vote on whether America should go to war.
  • Lion: A worm by HUC protesting apanese textbooks version of the history of the Nanking massacre in China.
  • Yaha-E: A 2002 worm that attempts a denial of service attack on a Pakistani government’s website.

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