Sydney Opera House criticised for distributing malware

I was amazed to read this week that the Web site of the Sydney Opera House has been accused of distributing Trojan software to unsuspecting Netters.

Apparently a US researcher called Rik Farrow discovered, whilst researching a paper, that Google's anti-malware service flags were raised when he tried loading the Opera House's Web site.

"I needed an example of the Google Malware Warning, because I was writing about a paper presented by Google engineers at the HotBots workshop," he told reporters.

It seems that Farrow's discovery coincided with the Opera House's manager noticing that her company's Web site had been hacked and the main page modified to include the malware code in late May.

Since the security compromise, which officials claim did not result in the disclosure of customer data, the Opera House has removed the code and had its site tested by a third party for security vulnerabilities.

The story sounds really odd. What are the chances of the Opera House's Web site being hacked the same day that a security researcher checked the site for malware?

Hmmm - if I were more cynical, I'd say this was a spun story to raise the profile of the Sydney Opera House in the IT media.

Which, of course, couldn't possibly happen, could it?...