Five new Windows Bagle virus variants break nasty new ground; Macintosh unaffected

“Just looking at your e-mail can now deliver you the nastiest of new viruses. Five new variants of a malicious e-mail virus released overnight Thursday on the Internet break new ground in that recipients are no longer required to open attachments to infect their computers,” Jeff Lee reports for CanWest News Service.

“The new variants of the Bagle virus — which was first discovered in January — exploit known flaws in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Outlook and Media Player programs to run a small hyper text language message that downloads the virus directly into the target computer,” Lee reports. “Although Microsoft issued a patch last October to fix the flaw, it may still not be enough to prevent new variants of the Bagle virus from infecting users’ computers, according to a Korean antivirus company…the virus is still triggered if users try to save the message on computers that have already been patched with the Microsoft fix.”

Lee reports, “…the new variants carry a web-based URL or hyper text message in the body of the e-mail that triggers the computer to secretly download a copy of the worm from already infected computers. It also turns off some security and anti-virus programs, and even disables firewalls, according to Chris Belthoff, senior security analyst with Sophos, an antivirus and anti-spam company with offices in Vancouver.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For information on smoothly making the switch from Windows to Mac OS X (you can thank us later, we know you will, switchers always do) please click here.

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Is Mac OS X really inherently more secure than Windows? – August 26, 2003
BusinessWeek’s Haddad gets it wrong; thinks low market share spares Macs from viruses – August 28, 2003
Shattering the Mac OS X ‘security through obscurity’ myth – August 28, 2003
Fortune columnist: ‘get a Mac’ to thwart viruses; right answer for the wrong reasons – September 02, 2003
New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003
Columnist tries the ‘security through obscurity’ myth to defend Windows vs. Macs on virus front – October 1, 2003
Gates: Windows ‘by far the most secure’ system; tries to use ‘Mac OS X secure through obscurity’ myth – January 27, 2004
Mac OS X has no viruses; what’s wrong with Windows? – February 11, 2004


  1. Dang! How am I gonna catch a virus if I don’t even get spam!? I wonder what’s it like on the “outside” … if it weren’t for a yahoo address I also use, I wouldn’t even know what spam looks like.

  2. There are options that one can use to turning off html content in emails. No html content means no virus. When an application has more power and flexibility, it tends to have more complexity.

  3. With respect to MacSmiley; “PC users are in an abusive relationship.”

    Well, lets not all bash PC users. These virus’ are geared toward Windows. Please feel free to bash Windows and Microsoft, not the hardware. The standard Intel/AMD do also run Linux, *BSD, Solaris. And yes I do run mostly *nix as to Windows. Not all PC users are bad, just the ones that use Microsoft.

  4. It’s a simple for those of us who ahve to use windows – use a decent email client – like pegasus, and any other browser other than IE, run a firewall and your fairly safe from the majority of viruses. Oh and don’t go running files and html content from people you don’t know.

  5. Jesus Christ,

    The amount of group think in these forums is sickening. Look how much smarter we are than the lowly pc-users. Plenty of smart pc users do not run Windows as it’s already been pointed out. And plenty update and patch just like you need to do on your precious macs.

    Get a life, go for a walk and stop turning your computing platform into a demigod. It’s just a tool. Use whatever works for you but look elsewhere for the type of identity-building experience that you are looking for in these forums.

  6. Geez, and I thought the Linux zealots were a rabid bunch. A little perspective is in order here. The fact of the matter is that it isn’t some inherent superiority of OS’s that keeps Macs and *nix boxes ‘immune’ to viruses. It’s simple math.

    Take my network for example. 250 Windows machines, 3 Macs and a Linux box on a Novell network. Now if I’m writing a virus, where do I go to get the most bang for the buck? You got it… MS is my target. A simplified example, but I think quite valid.

    Neither Mac nor Linux is more immune to attack than Windows, they’re just flying under the radar.

  7. Hey prairieson, i’m sick of that…
    I don’t really know about Mac but in linux, there have been 3 or 4 viruses, all of them using bugs to patch system binaries.
    There can not be, and will not be a virus for any sane *nix out there. Elf binary format is *very* hard to infect.
    You write virus for windows not only because 90% of the win box i know users are running with administrators privileges, but because M$ software is not designed, programed and build in a proper way.
    As Roger pointed you should be reading some good documents on that subject.

  8. Please. I need to know from someone, anyone, what to do about Spyware, Adware, Spam, etc.
    I have tried and tried to find a download to help me with the pests.
    I must say, before OSX. there was no NEED for such crap or the fear of viral infection.
    Someone, please help an advid Mac user and supporter.

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