Joseph (J.B.) Blankenship | September 25, 2012
Back in July, security firm F-Secure reported on their blog that a piece of malware targeting Iranian nuclear facilities had been discovered. This malware, following in the footsteps of Stuxnet, was purported to have shut down the automation network at 2 Iranian nuclear facilities.
While this is all interesting, the part of the attack that interested me most was another part of the payload. According to reports, the malware caused several infected workstations to play the AC/DC song “Thunderstruck”. This is sort of reminiscent of the U.S. Army’s use of the AC/DC song “Highway to Hell” to root out Manuel Noriega from his hiding place in Panama.
As a music fan, I can’t help but wonder if there are better songs for a musical malware payload. I asked around a bit to get some different opinions. Rob Kraus, Director of the Solutionary Security Engineering Research Team (SERT) thought Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” would make a better payload. That’s an interesting choice, especially if the malware is part of a botnet.
I’m getting an image of Beavis and Butthead as hackers, wearing their signature AC/DC and Metallica t-shirts. Wow, what a scary thought. “Hey Butthead, that server’s on fire. FIRE! FIRE!”
A member of our PR agency chose Jay Z’s “99 Problems” as that song was featured in the 2003 remake of the “Italian Job”, when a hacker tapped into the L.A. traffic control system to create a traffic jam.
What song would make the best malware payload? Are there songs that are better fits for different purposes?
Here are some songs that came to mind:
- Hacking a police department, “Breaking the Law”, Judas Priest
- Female hacker: “She’s Crafty”, Beastie Boys
- Stealing (especially from grocery stores): “Been Caught Stealin’”, Jane’s Addiction
- Hacking a healthcare system: “19th Nervous Breakdown”, Rolling Stones
- Haktivists with a peace message: “99 Luft Balloons”, Nina
- Hacking a bank, “Money”, Pink Floyd
- Hacking a school Ferris Bueller style, “School’s Out”, Alice Cooper
- Stealing an identity, “You Could be Mine”, Guns n’ Roses
- Hacking an ATM, “Take the Money and Run”, Steve Miller Band
- Destroying data, “Seek and Destroy”, Metallica
- Launching a DDoS, “The Party’s Over”, Journey
- Installing a dropper, “(You’ve Got) Another Thing Coming”, Judas Priest
- Pranking someone, “Never Gonna Give You Up”, Rick Astley. Imagine being Rick Rolled via malware.
Of course, those are just a few possibilities. I’m interested to see if anyone else has comments or suggestions for additional songs that would make interesting malware payloads. Put your suggestions in the comments section below. Rock on!
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