An odd worm is circulating through computer systems trying to print off images of a fake owl on network printers.
Hoots-A is written in Visual Basic and spreads via network shares. Once it has infected a computer it attempts to send a graphical image of an owl with the legend 'O RLY?' to a number of predefined print queues.
The worm is thought to be the work of a company employee who sought to jam up his own company's machines but failed to realise that the worm would spread.
"The smoking gun is that the worm has hard-coded within it the specific network paths to almost 40 different printers," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.
"It appears that this malware was written for a specific organisation by someone who had inside knowledge of their IT infrastructure. Why the author should want to print out pictures of this owl is, of course, anybody's guess."
So far the worm has only cropped up intermittently but may be spreading within corporate networks.
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