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. I have mentioned to a few people that there are currently over 70,000 viruses for Windows and ZERO viruses for OS X and so far ALL of them have been very surprised. The average computer user just doesn’t know there IS an alternative.

    Next time someone talks about computer viruses and you are around quietly mention that there are currently NO viruses for Mac OS X, it works fine for business because it runs Microsoft Office and can network into a windows enviroment and that you have heard that a lot of people that are switching to Macintosh to avoid the virus mess. (this last to appeal to the lemming mentality)

    I personally would like to see the Mac market share back up to around 10-20 percent. They may not be the cheapest computers out there but the advantages are worth it. The Mac OS X was built from the ground up with the intention that it would be connected to the internet and networks. Windows was built to put on an isolated, stand alone machine with no forethought about threats from the internet. Microsoft has admitted this publicly and this is one of the major reasons why OS X is just more secure; it was built to be more secure.

  2. Yea, so my friends and I thought: “Here’s an idea for a drinking game: “Windows Virii””.. Of course, if we all started to hav a drink every time we heard about a virus affecting Windows, well… there would be no chance of being sober ever again..

  3. Careful, R.V. I have many good friends who are “PC users”, running Windows and/or Linux, and there’s nothing dimwitted about them. Making generalized, emotionally-charged categorical statements seems dimwitted… and disrespectful.

    Windows is suffering, obviously. Some, but certainly not all, of its users are, too.

    Mac OS X isn’t a viable, capable alternative for many users (especially businesses with complex Windows-based dependencies and “legacy”), even if they “know better” and would like to switch.

  4. sjk: what you say is sound and good… until your business is seriously screwed up by the very fact you are using a Microsoft operating system of any kind. Sure there are programs that are not ported to the OS X platform but that does not mean there are NO programs covering the same business case.

    More than often it is lazyness, ignorance of what the sw market could offer for your business on OS X. It is a very unfortunate and extremely rare case where a user or business is truly stuck with Windows for their sw needs. So much so that as soon as serious enquiries are made plenty of solutions are there: they were simply not known.

  5. Nowadays, the only users seriously stuck with Windows are hardcore gamers. To date, if there is no port for the game(s) you play you are stuck as the “similar product covering same business case” do not apply there. But also that is changing slowly but steadily.

  6. Mac OS X isn’t a viable, capable alternative for many users (especially businesses with complex Windows-based dependencies and “legacy”), even if they “know better” and would like to switch

    Well, I’ve heard that one a lot, and most often it’s idiot IT “experts” who recently switched their entire mail system to Exchange, despite knowing of all the problems and the ensuing lock-in. It’s just a poor excuse. They don’t want to switch to something they don’t know. Don’t forget, most IT folk on the PC side are oblivious to what the alternatives offer. They aren’t very clued in, they’ve just learned to do windows.
    Even if getting rid of legacy and lock-in would cost money, it would be worth it in the long run (which isn’t usually that long), but IT idiots aren’t going to neuter themselves for the good of their company!

  7. My brother’s business relies on Calyx Point software. The system requirements page explicitly says:

    Note: Point is written to be Microsoft Network compatible. Calyx does not support the operation of Point under Novell, Linux, or any other environment, including multiple-user environments such as Citrix Servers or Microsoft Terminal Servers and Services.

    And they proudly tout being a market leader.

    So, what/where are non-Windows alternatives for vast amounts of specialized business software like that? I don’t think it’s “extremely rare” that companies are stubbornly producing Windows-only products which customers have heavily invested in and depend on. It’s doubtful the majority of such companies have (much) incentive to create Mac or Linux versions, nor are other companies (much) interested in risky competition with them. Still, some are doing/considering it while others have dropped Mac support. Flux.

    My brother is well aware of his Windows lock-in predicament and hears a growing amount of frustration about Windows from friends and co-workers. But it seems naive to trivialize the challenges (on many levels) for these non-technical folks to find alternatives for Windows-based business tools they’ve been using productively for many years. My brother managed to ditch Outlook in favor of The Bat! when he upgraded his hardware last year and hasn’t regretted it.

    The recent growing dissatisfaction with Windows-related troubles is a sign of piqued interest in change, if/when the right opportunity exists. It’ll just take more or less time, depending on the circumstances. Some of the radical “proposals” people throw around on forums simply don’t jive with reality, at least not in a business context. Frankly, I wouldn’t sincerely recommend Mac OS X (or Linux, Solaris, etc.) in situations where’s it’s not an “appropriate” solution (e.g. missing, inferior, and/or unstable apps, lack of required interoperability, etc.).

    I’ve worked at companies with Windows-centric corporate IT departments that made the “mistake” of converting to Exchange. Fortunately I was always insulated from direct (and inevitable?) fallout from that “downgrade” or had left the company shortly beforehand. Many of my friends in IT weren’t “clueless idiots” but it wasn’t easy to resist saying “told ya so” even when I knew it wouldn’t benefit our relationship. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

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