Smoking Mad Over Pot Virus 

Smoking Mad Over Pot Virus 
Posted by FoM on July 10, 2001 at 06:21:26 PT
By Brian McWilliams 
Source: Wired Magazine
An annoying but relatively harmless virus that advocates legalizing marijuana is making enemies out of some potential allies: potheads. Unlike Stoned, which appeared a dozen years ago and could corrupt all data on a disk drive, the Marijuana virus doesn't damage victims' PCs. Its payload, which is spread by an e-mail worm and through a Trojan Horse program, sets the infected computer's Internet Explorer browser start page to and places an unmistakable green, palmate leaf in the Windows system tray of an infected PC. 
But the pro-cannabis code's method of spreading the message has made some ordinarily docile dope smokers decidedly un-mellow. Some of the responses posted on the message boards at have been downright aggressive. "We've actually had to put up a firewall because of increased attacks we've seen on our server," said Rick Garcia, webmaster of, an informational site, which calls itself "The Internet's Answer To The Drug War." The site is "absolutely not responsible" for the virus, according to Garcia, who reports that in addition to lighting up the site's online discussion board 25 to 50 times per day with their misdirected complaints, some angry victims have gone so far as to launch denial-of-service attacks against the server. According to antivirus research and software firm Kaspersky Lab, which has assigned the worm the name I-Worm.Mari, the code is making the rounds as an e-mail with the subject line "check this out!" Those who fall for its lame attempt at social engineering and click on the attachment -- a file named system32.exe, written using Microsoft's Visual Basic -- will propagate the worm to every address in their Microsoft Outlook e-mail address book. But the primary vector for the spread of the Marijuana virus appears to be a Trojan Horse program named Weed Farmer, which trades on the popularity of a legitimate PC game called Ganja Farmer, in which players defend their crop against drug enforcement agents in helicopters, with the aid of a 20-millimeter machine gun mounted on a 1969 VW microbus. Weed Farmer, on the other hand, which has been circulating among users of the Morpheus peer-to-peer file-trading program among other places, contains no actual game code and is merely the Marijuana virus renamed to look like the rasta shoot-'em-up game. According to Bruce Hughes, antivirus lab manager for ICSA Labs, the Marijuana virus is the latest in a category of computer viruses that try to promulgate a political message through self-replication. While most fail to travel widely, one such program, a worm called Mawanella, warranted a "high risk" rating by several antivirus vendors when it began to spread quickly in May. Mawanella carried a cryptic message about genocide against Muslims in Sri Lanka. Click on the pot leaf in the system tray of a PC infected with the Marijuana virus and the code will exhale a mini-diatribe on why marijuana should be legalized in North America. "I do hope somebody, somewhere listens to what I have to say and does not just regard this as just another virus because it's more then (sic) that, it's a message, a message for freedom," pleads the author of the virus, who considerately coded the program to pop up a message box twice a day, reminding the user: "Time to toke up :)." Source: Wired Magazine (CA)Author: Brian McWilliams Published: July 10, 2001 Copyright: 2001 Wired Digital Inc.Contact: newsfeedback wired.comWebsite: Articles - Wired Magazine
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on July 13, 2001 at 13:35:35 PT
I Agree
Sudaca, I agree that this would just scare and irritate people. 
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Comment #2 posted by Sudaca on July 13, 2001 at 13:25:22 PT
if the virus were 
actually a delivery mechanism for THC i would think this funny. As it is it just irritates people out of their gourds and makes a bad name for legalizers. whatever
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Comment #1 posted by meagain on July 10, 2001 at 17:14:31 PT
I thought this was really humorous maybe it will serve some of the people who get it right cause maybe they aren't standing up for their rights like they owe it to their fellow Americans to do. I think more people who get this virus need it.
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