The information available inside these free-for-editing Online Encyclopedias and Wikis may not be 100% safe anymore.

Virus creators in Germany adopted a novel approach to trick Wikipedians into downloading viruses onto their computers as discovered by Sophos.

According to Internet News, Hackers created a new page on the German edition of Wikipedia with details of a new version of Blaster worm. They also included a download link to a patch that removes the virus. Now the problem was that the patch itself was a virus.

The hackers then also sent out an email to German users, supposedly from Wikipedia itself, alerting recipients to the new entry after the Blaster worm.

Heise adds that the body of the e-mail itself refers to a Wikipedia article containing links to the domain wikipedia-download.org, where the recipients of the e-mail are to download the alleged new patches.

The article even goes so far as to claim that the new Blaster attack has overloaded Microsoft's servers, forcing Microsoft to ask Wikipedia to help distribute the updates.

While Wikipedia quickly erased the offending page and not many people were affected by the Wikipedia Virus, this is definitely an alarming development. As a first step, Wikipedia should ban direct linking to EXE, BAT, COM and other executable files.

Wikipedia W32.Blaster [in German]