Destructive MyDoom.F virus deletes Windows users’ files; Macintosh unaffected

“Destructive computer viruses are back. Last week, Mydoom.F began replicating itself on tens of thousands of home and business computers,” Byron Acohido reports for USA Today. “Like other viruses, it spreads by tricking PC users into opening a viral e-mail attachment. It then e-mails a copy of itself to all e-mail contacts found on the PC, and opens a back door to receive more hacker commands.”

“But MyDoom.F does something viruses have not done since 1999: It begins systematically deleting files. ‘Viruses that destroy files happen rarely,’ says Alan Paller, research director at security think tank the SANS Institute. ‘They are very worrisome.’ Mydoom.F isn’t spreading as fast as its predecessor, Mydoom.A, which has infected an estimated 2 million PCs worldwide since late January. But it could wreak more havoc, experts say,” Acohido reports.

“The virus deletes Microsoft Word documents, Excel spread sheets and Access database files, along with digital images and movies. It appears to target files that typically represent extensive cumulative work,” Acohido reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Nowhere in the article does the writer deign to mention that only Windows OS machines are affected. The closest he gets is to refer to those affected as “PC users.” That could easily be misconstrued as “personal computer users.” But, Mac OS X users are unaffected by this (or any other) virus or worm. Why not clearly specify that only Windows users are affected? Is this just really shoddy reporting or is it deliberately written in such a way as to obscure the facts? Why the lack of clarity? You decide. Moo.

Related MacDailyNews article:
Washington Post: Internet punishing for Windows users, Mac users surf with impunity – February 28, 2004

24 Comments

  1. The point of this is that the mainstream media are COVERING UP the fact that, if you used a Mac, you would have NONE OF THESE PROBLEMS.

    Thank God, MDN does this – it shows up in Google News and all around the Web and maybe it’ll “worm” its way into mainstream minds:

    MACINTOSH UNAFFECTED.

    Windows Worm. Windows Virus.

    Please keep doing this over and over and over until it sticks, MDN. Some of us here “get it” and appreciate your efforts.

  2. A friend at a major engineering company in our city lost something like 80% of his documents last week due to this virus. He was fortunate that they have a back-up system. I don’t know if it was a company-wide hit or just his computer. I think it even took out a lot of .dwg files associated with AutoCad, not just the m$ programs listed above.

  3. “Is this just really shoddy reporting or is it deliberately written in such a way as to obscure the facts?

    Maybe “shoddy reporting”, more likely just the modern world.

    Usually, in the newspaper biz, you only have so-many-words or inches of column space to devote to a particular topic. While it would be nice to include a “Macintosh, linux, BeOS, and MS-DOS users unaffected”, sometimes you need to stick to the story, which is that hundreds of millions of users are susceptible and leave out the fact that tens of millions are not.

    Consider it this way: those who use Macs already know they’re not susceptible. Why tell them something they don’t need to know, especially if it will put you over your 1000 word limit.

  4. “How interesting, a virus-only-for-win-news. There aren�t many of them on this “news”-site”

    Are you kidding? The company I work for intranet is turning into a daily virus news site. Of course they’re running XP.

  5. I can report for a fact that a major nationwide insurance company that I work for (I won’t disclose their name here though for job security purposes) got hit by this virus last Friday. It spread from regional server to regional server very quickly before IT finally did something to contain it.

    The most frustrating part of the entire experience is that those of us out in the field noticed it first, but the IT dept. didn’t take us seriously when we first reported it or else the damage wouldn’t have been nearly as extensive. In the end, we had backups to restore virtually all of the lost data, but it took hours to get everything back to the way it was. Needless to say, these Windows viruses/worms that MDN reports on here are VERY real and cause VERY real damage out there. I too appreciate that they get the truth out there to people.

  6. Peter,
    Do not be a fool. Replace “PC” in the USA Today story with “Windows” and you have the correct story – and I’m in the biz, so don’t tell me it won’t fit. It will. USA Today derives MUCH of it’s revenue from Wintel and Wintel-related businesses. ‘Nuff said.

    And the point isn’t to tell Mac users they aren’t susceptible – it’s to inform the rest of the world that if they had a Mac instead of Windows, they’d be laughing right now instead of crying.

  7. “Replace “PC” in the USA Today story with “Windows” and you have the correct story. […] the point isn’t to tell Mac users they aren’t susceptible – it’s to inform the rest of the world that if they had a Mac instead of Windows, they’d be laughing right now instead of crying.”

    Uh, no. The point is to warn people to be on the outlook for yet another virus. Though your point about replacing “PC” with “Windows” is well taken–perhaps some editor should have caught that.

    Some days I just get sick of the old “Windows Conspiracy” bit and how the whole world is working to keep the Mac down.

  8. You’re all missing the point. By not mentioning MacOS, the author has made Macs more.
    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  9. oops!
    You’re all missing the point. By not mentioning MacOS, the author has made Macs more secure.
    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  10. Don’t you just love the MS BS FUD about the Mac, “security by obscurity?” It’s a wonderful, patronizing put-down on OS-X, but truth be told, OS-X is much more secure than Windows by default. There are many settings in OS-X that are standard protections that Microsoft could have elected to do for Windows to make it more secure, but they haven’t. And in its current architecture, Windows still has security holes that you could drive a semi through. For a company of its size, that is simply inexcusable. My hunch is that SP2 comes out, it will still be easily exploited.

    Personally, I will gladly revel in having security by the mere obscurity of being on a Mac. But that does not take away the fact that OS-X is simply better engineered to be secure. It does not mean that the Mac, or any other platform is foolproof; far from it. In fact, I strongly recommend that we all behave as though we’re cursed to be on a Windows box, and keep what we have secure. I can only say that I sleep more soundly at night because I have a Mac.

  11. You really have to question the intelligence of the average Windows user that after ALL of the virus attacks that have been perpetrated on them for the last several years would STILL be STUPID ENOUGH to click on a suspicious attachment! ????

    I mean…How STUPID can someone be at this point?

    I have been on a Mac for 17 years and even though I have no fear of these emails, I can easily tell that an email with a subject line (HERE IS THE FILE) from someone I don’t know is 95% likely to be a virus.

    I already know that the average Windows user is not very bright, otherwise they would have ditched that pathetic waste of time for something better (OS X), but still, I at least was willing to give even the biggest Windows using fool the benefit of the doubt.

    Considering how well these virus infections continue to spread, I am left with the only conclusion any sane person could draw…

    PC users are the biggest bunch of dim wits on the face of the Earth, and in many ways, deserve to pain and agony their stupidity reaps upon them on a daily basis.

  12. Sheesh RV, don’t hold back or anything!
    By the way, it’s Micros**t.
    I recently rid my system of all things Micros**t and I am not looking back.
    PC losers just enjoy pain I suppose. They also must like paying for Micros**t’s lawyers too, which is not very good value for money as they lose 95% of their cases.
    Like many others, I smell Class Action

  13. “Sheesh RV, don’t hold back or anything!”

    There is really nothing inaccurate about anything I said.

    If you saw someone repeatedly put their hand on a red hot stove top, what possible complimentary name could you apply to them? ;o)

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