29 March 2001
Hacker sends virus by FUW email
By FWi staff
A HACKER has broken into the Farmers Union of Wales e-mail system and sent out a computer virus to hundreds of subscribers.
Police were called in after infected false messages were sent to people and organisations in the unions electronic address book.
BTinternets investigating team has also been drafted in to trace the culprits and block further false messages.
“This is a disgraceful and cowardly attempt to disrupt the work of the union during the foot-and-mouth crisis, the most difficult period that farming has ever faced,” said Wyn Lewis, the FUWs IT manager.
An FUW spokesman said the bogus email can be identified by the letters HO in capital letters which prefix press office in the senders email address.
Genuine FUW releases are not prefixed in this way, and any emails received with HO should be deleted without being opened, he said.
The infected email itself contains a few innocuous paragraphs on crop and livestock reports as the cover for the unspecified virus.
Mr Lewis said the union was taking every possible step to ensure that this did not happen again.
Reports that the virus had brought the National Assembly for Wales email system to a standstill were denied by an Assembly spokesman.