theEweekly Wrap: Myspace, music and malware

By Rachel Hand topicIcon Manchester
MySale Social media has-been Myspace was finally sold this week, for a fraction of the asking price. Online advertising giant Specific Media teamed up with pop star Justin Timberlake to buy the website for just $35 million (£21.9 million); News Corp wanted to sell for $100 million, after paying $580 million for the site five years ago.

Timberlake, who portrayed Napster founder and former Facebook president Sean Parker in The Social Network, will "play a major role in developing the creative direction and strategy for the company moving forward" according to a Specific Media spokesperson. In recent years Myspace has seen several website redesigns and dramatic job cuts as user numbers plunged.

Botnet bother Security experts at Kaspersky Anti-Virus Lab in Moscow have discovered a virus network they have labelled 'indestructible'. Sergey Golovanov and Igor Soumenkov found that the fourth generation of a particularly nasty piece of malware – TDL 4 – has infected 4.52 million computers in just three months. This has created a huge botnet, i.e. a network of infected computers that can be controlled remotely, which Kaspersky speculated could "manipulate adware and search engines, provide anonymous Internet access, and act as a launch pad for other malware.

TDSS malware has been infecting computers since 2008, and this latest incarnation is vastly improved. TDL 4 targets Windows PCs, and hides in a system file known as the master boot record, where it is "protected against attacks, competitors, and anti-virus companies". Of the 4.52 million units in the botnet, five per cent (over 200,000) are in the UK, and a huge 28 per cent are in the US.

Music deal for Virgin? The Guardian has reported that Virgin Media is close to signing a deal with Spotify and four record labels to create a digital music service. Plans first revealed two years ago seem to be finally coming to fruition, as the launch is said to be planned for the end of 2011. The reason for the delay is explained by the four record labels – EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner – having final say over what Spotify is allowed to do with their music.

Meanwhile, Virgin Media has also been chastised for its online marketing strategy this week. Their campaign named rival ISPs and claimed they were misleading customers over the speed of their broadband, under the tagline "Stop the Broadband Con". However, after Sky and BT complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, Virgin was ordered to take down the ads.