Palyh Worm strikes Windows users worldwide; Macintosh unaffected

A new mass-mailing worm that spread through Australia overnight appears to have hit the UK hard on Monday morning and is spreading into the United States,” reports Matt Loney for ZDNet (UK). “The Palyh, or Mankx worm, appears to come from support-at-microsoft.com, a forged address. It contains a file which, upon execution, self-propagates using e-mail addresses from files stored on the targeted system, but which can also spread to other Windows machines on a LAN.”

“Although the file has a .PI or .PIF extension, it is a .EXE file, and because Windows processes files according to their internal structure than their extension, Windows runs the file as soon as the user double clicks on it,” reports Loney. Full article here.

Macintosh computers do not run .EXE files and are therefore unaffected. However, Mac users should take care to delete these messages and not forward them to Windows users in order to help stop the spread of this worm.

14 Comments

  1. “Although the file has a .PI or .PIF extension, it is a .EXE file, and because Windows processes files according to their internal structure than their extension, Windows runs the file as soon as the user double clicks on it,” reports Loney.

    Loney is about half-right. Windows relies on extensions to identify various files before it knows what to do with it (.exe may be the exception here)! I’ll have to admit this is a funny claim that he thinks Windows actually looks at the internal structure 😀

  2. Good point (below). Because the computer I’m on isn’t real and doesn’t really run apps just as critical to my business as yours.

    I mean, if an operating system were to not crash, and a Windows user wasn’t there to see it, did it ever REALLY happen? Ponder that…

  3. Come on… the same percentages of people who use Mac and PC do the same stuff…. using the same software, except hard core gamers… less of them on a Mac. People are getting to the point that they either use computers only for work, or they are obsessed pseudo tech enthusiasts with no life. Face it… Mac, Windows… its all becoming irrelevant… as the computer itself is in danger of becoming.

  4. If it takes a real computer to constantly freeze and crash, perpetually under the threat of being infected with viruses, takes 4 times as many mouse clicks than is necessary to do anything, and occupies a significant part of my day dealing with “system issues”, then perhaps they are right and my Mac isn’t a real computer.

    I always thought that a computer makes life easier. Let’s compare…

    XP script:

    var vt = WScript.CreateObject(“Speech.VoiceText”);
    vt.Register(“”, WScript.ScriptName);
    var phrase = “Is there something I should say?”;
    if ( WScript.Arguments.length )
    phrase = WScript.Arguments(0);
    vt.Speak(phrase, 1);
    while ( vt.IsSpeaking )
    WScript.Sleep(100);
    WScript.Quit();

    Now here’s how to do the same thing on a Mac…

    OS X:

    say “Is there something I should say?” �

    ‘Nuf said!

  5. why bother with a virus for macs??? it’s used by less than 5% and practically none of the corporate world… if you want a target, a virus developer would never look to the mac platform. it has nothing to do with somekind of superiority of the mac OS

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