back to article 'I caught a virus from Murdoch's organ' – famous secret hooker

Two prominent sex bloggers suspect the Rupert Murdoch owned Sunday Times of hacking into their computers using Trojan horse malware. The fears are not based on any hard evidence but are nonetheless sure to add further grist to the mill of the escalating News International hacking scandal. Zoe Margolis, author of the celebrated …


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  1. TeeCee Gold badge


    "Magnanti said that she relates the story only as a cautionary tale to others."

    I'd have thought that the only cautionary tale from that quarter ought to be that shagging for cash, telling everyone on teh intahtoobs all the gory details and also expecting to remain anonymous is doomed to failure.

    If you set out to put the unmasking of your nom de plume character into the "scoop of the year" category, you shouldn't act surprised when the whole of Fleet Street starts playing silly buggers around you.....

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Thumb Down


      Why don't you add getting yourself killed to your list of things not to do if you expect privacy?

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      If the ladies are still in business then it's gone rather well.

      Non-ethically speaking.

      Then again, maybe they were hoping to retire...

  2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    I got the impression that BDJ was smarter than that...

    Still we all have off days.

    But it's odd because I thought that creating a Trojan and mailing it to someone was supposed to be a crime? I guess maybe not if you're a newspaper reporter ... or an Israeli secret agent?

    My own experience with newspaper reporters leads me to suggest that the the only sensible way to deal with them involves a cinder block and a hammer. Let them crawl away.

    1. Nagy, Balázs András


      If anything, the last week taught all that Murdoch's gang do not care about the legality of how they get new info.

    2. spodula

      A web bug..

      is a HTML link to a webserver you have access to. You send your targeted email to someone, they open it, and it tries to access the image on your webserver, and Bingo, you have their IP address.

      Now IP address isnt a sure fire way of pinpointing someone, but unless the person your looking for is a little tech savvy (Which lets face it, most people arent), it will certainly provide somewere to start.

      Its not illegal, unlike sending an actual trojan. It used to be used a lot in spamming and other Email direct marketing, so the spammers could see who actually openned the emails (And thus have a valid email address).

      Its why most email readers wont automatically open images any more.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: A web bug..

        "Its why most email readers wont automatically open images any more."

        One would hope, at least. Decent mail clients should allow the user to control exactly which resources should be opened and viewed, starting with plain text and then letting users elect to see formatting, local images, and ultimately remote resources if they should so wish, potentially being reminded of the privacy and security consequences.

        Of course there's always some moron who claims that such control is against "what we need for corporate use" or "what the average user expects" and that mail clients should just show everything and magically cleanse the content with special pixie dust ($1000/oz from Microsoft's online store), but until the fundamental messaging architecture changes, caution is better than convenience.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Down

          They actually do

          Of course there's always some moron who claims that such control is against "what we need for corporate use"

          The other usual suspect of register articles about RIPA violations throughout the last decade checks its internal droid compliance to the Hive Buzz by putting these into the weekly dose of mandatory propaganda.

          If you do not show up on the web bug report you are flagged as potentially subversive and lose on your bonus. So if you happen to have that option turned off you actually have to go and open each and every article to ensure that the Hive does not perceive you as a threat.

          Don't you just love companies like that?

          1. jugear


            Can you restate that in plain English, please?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Web bug?

          Does anyone with an IQ greater than their shoe size use anything other than plain text as the default for email?

  3. Captain TickTock


    Very popular form of protection in the US, I understand.

    Mine's the one with the packet of 3 in the pocket

    1. Disco-Legend-Zeke

      You Only Carry...

      ...a one night supply?

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        You insensitive clod!

        For some of us that is a month's supply!

        1. BorkedAgain

          *Bursts into tears*


          1. Anonymous Coward

            At least that is just "Burst into Tears"

            Thankfully the Burst was only "Into Tears". Otherwise there would have been some ... Bastrards...

      2. Captain TickTock

        I forgot to mention...

        ... the suitcase for the rest...

        Pretentious? Moi?

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Are you people still talking shag power?

          What, are you 12 years old?

          1. Captain TickTock



  4. Dave Bell

    Everybody does it

    I see a Facebook and a YouTube button down at the bottom of this page.

    Thank you for letting people like that see my IP address.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Number6


        I just use a different browser for Facebook and Twitter than for everything else because I notice that is blocked by NoScript on some sites.

    2. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Everybody does it

      Come on! The Facebook button is a link to the Reg's Facebook profile, and the twitter button a link to the Register's Twitter feed. If you don't want to reveal your IP, don't click... If you want to click and stay anon, use a proxy. :-)

      1. nyelvmark

        I agree.

        If you use farcebook and twatter, and also read The Register, then you either already know how to use proxies, or you don't put anything remotely true in your profiles, or you should read The Register a bit more often.

      2. Kevan


        If you don't already know how to do this, should you really be here?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Close call

    I thought for a moment there that El Reg was making a bid to fill the gap left by NotW with the latest revelations about ladies of the night.

    Thank goodness there was an IT angle (ish).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    web bugs - spodula and AC

    Web bugs in attachments have absolutely nothing to do with whether your mail program does or doesn't show email.

    You can embed a web image in a document such as a word doc. There is no warning when the doc is opened, and the image is displayed (and hence reveals your IP to the remote server).

    This happens in both MS Word and Open Office (before anyone decides to go off on one about Microsoft). I have a feeling it worked in Google Docs too, though it was a year or two ago so maybe that's changed.

    Try it if you don't believe me. Embed a link to an image on your web site in a doc and send it to a friend, then ask them to open it and see if they see the image, and get no security warnings that the doc is trying to connect to a remote location.

    Word and Open Office (and others if you ask me) need to fix this.

  7. regprentice
    Big Brother

    Facebook clowns

    Everybody does it ....

    Yes I'm afraid they do, it's only really apparent if you are on a network which blocks facebook et all. My work does this, and I've had to click OK to blocked link messages as many as EIGHTEEN times on a legitimate website page before my network has blocked All the crap. Even the financial times is at it

  8. david 63

    Blogs not getting much attention... comes a bandwagon...


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