Windows worm, virus outbreaks intensify; Macintosh unaffected

“Antivirus experts have identified new versions of three major e-mail worms and say that a ‘war’ between rival virus writers may be to blame for the rash of outbreaks in recent weeks. New versions of the Mydoom, Netsky, and Bagle have all appeared on the Internet in the last 24 hours. Antivirus researchers have uncovered text messages in two of the worms that suggest a battle is underway between virus writers, antivirus companies say,” Paul Roberts reports for IDG News Service.

Roberts reports, “Examples of Netsky.F, Bagle.K ,and Mydoom.H were isolated on Wednesday, according to antivirus company F-Secure. All three variants resemble their predecessors, which spread in e-mail messages with vague-sounding subjects using infected attachments such as .zip, .exe, or .pif files. The viruses have their own SMTP engines and harvest e-mail addresses from infected computers, which are then targeted with infected mail, antivirus companies say.”

Computers running the Macintosh operating system remain unaffected.

Full article here.

Information about switching from Windows to Mac OS X, which currently has zero (0) viruses to date, here.

28 Comments

  1. Since I have ;em handy… Here are some references from a variety of perspectives regarding the technological reasons why Windows is so much more vulnerable than UNIX-based Mac OS X:

    * http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20031023.html
    * http://www.baltimoresun.com/technology/custom/pluggedin/bal-mac082803,0,1353478.column
    * http://www.newsobserver.com/gilster/story/2948972p-2706278c.html
    * http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/18/technology/circuits/18POGUE-EMAIL.html
    * http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A34978-2003Aug23.html
    * http://www.csoonline.com/read/080103/patch.html

    Mac’s security is not based on obscurity–a common myth that many tech writers have laid to rest over the past year. Mac OS X is simply a better-designed, less-buggy, more security-conscious product than Windows.

    Mac is a smaller target and that IS a great way to help Macs be safer. But that’s just ONE piece of the puzzle. Macs ARE still a tempting target for a lot of reasons–including the challenge and prestige of being the first to make a virus for it, and the segment of people that are jealous of Macs, and high-profile targets like the US Army web site on OS X, and the fact that OS X is UNIX and thus familiar to many programmers, and the fact that OS X has been out for years to give them the chance! And yet… nobody has ever successfully started a virus or worm for OS X.

    I would lose a lot of sleep if I depended on MS patches to keep my private data from being invaded or deleted.

  2. This is getting silly. As the network admin I have to update the virus definitions on my machines almost every day. I shudder to think how much space these definitions will take up by next year. On the other hand I’m certainly enjoying my new powerbook ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. I work for a small ISP and this morning we scrambled to use content filtering to block these emails as the new virus scanning couldn’t even scan the encrypted attached files. We got it in place, but somewhere around 1000 messages made it through before we could stop it. And now the updated scanning engines seem to be working. However, our largest competitor, the local phone company (rhymes with “call-smell”) has lost their mail servers because they couldn’t stop the mail onslaught.

    It is to laugh.

    I love posting messages on our home page that include “Macintosh computers are unaffected…”

    ~Dak

  4. These viruses are causing havoc at the fortune 500 tech company I work at. I am sure if you add up how may IT hours are spent dealing with them along with lost in employee productivity, wintel machines are extremely expensive compared to Macs.

  5. And there are some people who really, really, really, HATE Apple, but there aren’t OS X viruses. I suspect Bill Gates paid for them to raise the number of applications not runable on Macs. You see, whatever Jobs has or does not have, Gates wants more.

  6. I read the article and almost fell out of my chair laughing, what a bunch of sorry people. Yet like a dog who returns to eat it’s own vomit, they go back again and again to Windows.

    No wonder there are lines outside Apple Stores when they open.

    If Microsoft ran a airline, would you fly it?

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