Virus spreads on promises of naked ESPN star

Sideline reporter is filmed, in a state of unclothing, through the peephole of her hotel room. The film goes viral--in the sense that hackers try to pass a virus to those who view it.

Many a college student adorns his dorm room wall with a picture, often large, of ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

It is not for me to declare that hers is the apogee of beauty. But the enthusiasm with which her image is often greeted by young men parallels that of the image of a carrot to a starving giraffe.

So perhaps one shouldn't fall to the rear and bump one's inverted baseball cap on the sidewalk to discover that some mischievous little miscreant filmed Andrews in a somewhat disrobed state through the peephole of her hotel room.

Given that this was a particularly sleazy, immature, and cowardly act, might I conjecture that the perpetrator was an extremely sad specimen of college student? Perhaps.

However, the aftermath has proved to be rather less comely than its subject.

Erin Andrews at work. CC JMRosenfeld/Flickr

The video was initially uploaded to the French site DailyMotion.fr. Naturally, it then wandered across the internet like a rodent in search of camembert.

But according to security site Sophos.com, hackers have decided that the efforts of ESPN's lawyers to make the video disappear, coupled with the enthusiasm of many bepimpled youths to see the apparently grainy footage, make for the perfect opportunity to spread a dirty little computer disease.

While the identity of the cameraman and initial uploader remain a mystery, hackers have set up Web pages purporting to house the precious footage of Andrews in the flesh. One pretends to be a CNN page.

In any case, once you begin to click on the alleged video, your laptop becomes Troy to Greeks bearing unpleasant gifts. The malware floods into your machine, whether it's a Mac or a PC.

While we can be grateful to Sophos for pointing out these distressing facts, there is perhaps one even more distressing fact coming out of the company's work.

Sophos's Graham Cluley, who posted the warning about the Andrews malware, says he had never, before Sunday, heard of Andrews.

Graham, we need to talk.

 

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