Gigabyte v Cluley: Seconds out, round four

Obsessive Belgian is back for more...

Obsessive Belgian is back for more...

We've all been there. Your name appears in the CC field of an email which is replied to by one recipient, then the sender, then the original recipient and so it goes - back and forth, back and forth, clogging up your already overcrowded inbox.

Eventually you are stuck as an awkward cyber-hanger-on, bearing witness to a conversation you don't want to be a part of, just because somebody felt the need to 'reply all'.

Perhaps eventually you get to the point where you chip in. Something along the lines of "Please, please, please remove me from the CC field of these emails and conduct your private conversation in private".

And that's where we find ourselves now with the slightly strange dialogue which exists between a virus writer calling herself Gigabyte and outspoken anti-virus expert Graham Cluley.

For the past two years Cluley-themed emails have been arriving in users' inboxes bearing some form of malware.

Gigabyte also rarely passed up an opportunity to slag off Cluley on her personal website and even contacted last year to spark a war of words with the Sophos man claiming he "continues to talk shit about viruses".

Whatever it is about Cluley that has Gigabyte so angry has apparently yet to ease, because late last week she launched her latest attack. And this is where the rest of us find ourselves feeling like awkward hangers on to a conversation we'd really rather not be a part of.

We can all assume that virus writers don't like those working in the anti-virus field but what the aggrieved Belgian thinks she is achieving - other than confirming the stereotypes she claims to be attempting to debunk - is anybody's guess.

In July last year the teenaged Belgian virus writer release a piece of malware which launched a game on infected PCs.

The game showed the head of Graham Clueless [Gigabyte's pet name for Cluley] mounted on a coconut shy. The more users hit Cluley the less damage was done to their PC.

At the time the Sophos man made matters worse by cheekily suggesting Gigabyte carries some kind of flame for him.

"She is fascinated in me for one reason or another. I'm in a position of authority, so maybe she looks up to me. I'd like to think she's taken with the cut of my jib," he said.

So now she's back. This time with a virus which launches a quiz. Answer enough anti-Clulely questions correctly and you limit the damage done.

Cluley claims virus writers such as Gigabyte have some growing up to do. It would seem he has a point.