Windows Media songs and videos found to carry Windows malware payloads

“Think you’re downloading a new song or video? Watch out–that file may be stuffed with pop-ups and adware,” Andrew Brandt and Eric Dahl report for PCWorld. “PC World has learned that some Windows Media files on peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa contain code that can spawn a string of pop-up ads and install adware. They look just like regular songs or short videos in Windows Media format, but launch ads instead of media clips.”

Brandt and Eric Dahl report, “When we ran the files, we noted over half a dozen pop-ups, some attempts to download adware onto our test PC, and an attempt to hijack our browser’s home page… Not only did we get bombarded with unwanted ads, but one of the ad windows in a video file tried to install adware onto our test PC surreptitiously, while another added items to our browser’s Favorites list and attempted to change our home page. And a window from the original music file asked to download a file called, which contained the installer for 180search Assistant, commonly categorized as an adware program… However, you can take steps to guard your PC against this ad invasion.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “You can take steps to guard your PC against this ad invasion” or you can just use your head and get a Mac instead. Nope, no adware, spyware, viruses, worms, or any other malware affects us Mac users. We just surf the ‘Net and get our work done. Imagine that.

Sorry, if we sound short, we’ve grown very tired of this whole situation. It goes kind of like this:
Microsoft: Hello, Mister! Here’s a vat of acid to swim in – only $3.00 for the day.
Apple: Hello, Sir. How are you? Here’s a pool of spring water for your swimming enjoyment – only $10.00 for the year.


Deep breath. Okay, we’re calm again.

For our Windows-only friends, information about smoothly adding a safe, secure, powerful, and fun Mac OS X machine to your computing arsenal can be found here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Anzae/Inzae worm affects all Windows versions after 3.1; Macintosh unaffected – December 28, 2004
Unlike Windows users, Mac OS X users surf the Internet without a care in the world – December 28, 2004
Multiple unpatched Windows holes crop up; Windows systems compromised within minutes in experiment – December 24, 2004
Windows spyware mess is out of control, get a Mac and surf with impunity – December 21, 2004
New Microsoft Internet Explorer exploit spoofs Web sites on fully patched Windows XP systems – December 17, 2004
Microsoft may charge extra for Windows spyware protection software – December 16, 2004
Detroit Free Press: Windows malware problem getting worse, it’s time to get a Mac instead – December 16, 2004
Sick of spyware, adware headaches? Get a Mac and surf the Internet freely – December 13, 2004
Mossberg: Windows PCs plagued with problems, Apple’s Mac is ‘rock solid, elegant and affordable’ – December 09, 2004
Security expert: Don’t use Microsoft Windows, Office, Outlook, Internet Explorer – December 09, 2004
Security test: Windows XP system easily compromised while Apple’s Mac OS X stands safe and secure – November 30, 2004
Sick of spyware, adware infecting your PC? Don’t fret, just get a Mac – November 01, 2004
Microsoft: The safest way to run Windows is on your Mac – October 08, 2004
Spyware plagues Windows users while Mac users surf Net with impunity – November 01, 2004
Ballmer blames Windows users for not upgrading systems as Microsoft’s biggest security problem – October 22, 2004
Windows users line up to pay for spyware removal; Mac users surf Web with impunity – October 18, 2004
Microsoft: The safest way to run Windows is on your Mac – October 08, 2004
Windows users’ security woes spark interest in Apple’s secure Mac OS X – October 06, 2004
Windows desktop monopoly threatened by secure, safe Apple Mac OS X – October 04, 2004
Even Bill Gates can’t avoid Windows malware; Mac users surf the Web freely – October 03, 2004
Cyber-security adviser uses Apple Macintosh to avoid Windows’ security woes – September 27, 2004
Information Security Investigator says switch from Windows to Mac OS X for security – September 24, 2004
Mossberg: Apple iMac G5 ‘powerful, affordable, virus-free with better, more modern OS than Windows XP’ – September 23, 2004
USA Today: people are switching from Windows to Mac because of security issues – September 21, 2004
Windows besieged by hackers; number of Windows viruses soars by more than 400% – September 20, 2004
USA Today columinst angry about Windows viruses, adware, spyware – September 15, 2004
University of Chicago recommends all students patch Windows at least once a day – September 14, 2004
Windows XP worm speaks to users as it deletes their files; Macintosh unaffected – September 13, 2004
Security is top priority in Apple’s Mac OS X – September 12, 2004
Millions of Windows PC’s hijacked by hackers, turned into zombies; Macintosh unaffected – September 08, 2004
Mossberg: Dump your Windows machine and get an Apple Macintosh to free yourself of spyware – August 25, 2004
Tired of patching patches to patch Windows patches? Writer suggests getting a Mac – August 03, 2004
Windows ‘Scob’ virus designed to steal financial data, passwords; Macintosh unaffected – June 26, 2004
Gartner: Worms jack up the total cost of Microsoft Windows – May 07, 2004
Spyware, adware plague Windows users online; Mac OS X users surf freely – April 19, 2004
SmartMoney: Long-suffering Windows users can only dare to dream of Mac’s ease-of-use – February 12, 2004
Mac OS X has no viruses; what’s wrong with Windows? – February 11, 2004
Gates: Windows ‘by far the most secure’ system; tries to use ‘Mac OS X secure through obscurity’ myth – January 27, 2004
Columnist tries the ‘security through obscurity’ myth to defend Windows vs. Macs on virus front – October 1, 2003
New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg on making the switch from Windows to Mac – September 18, 2003
Fortune columnist: ‘get a Mac’ to thwart viruses; right answer for the wrong reasons – September 02, 2003
Shattering the Mac OS X ‘security through obscurity’ myth – August 28, 2003
Is Mac OS X really inherently more secure than Windows? – August 26, 2003
Chicago Sun-Times columnist: Windows ‘many holes in its security’ but ‘none of my Macs have ever been affected – August 26, 2003
Sick of worms and viruses? ‘Move to Mac OS X’ suggests Chicago Tribune columnist – August 25, 2003
Virus and worm problems not just due to market share; Windows inherently insecure vs. Mac OS X – August 24, 2003


  1. Don’t worry if/WHEN Apple releases the new $499 xMac, you won’t have to say anything anymore. Just point them to the link to the new product and they’ll NEVER look back again.

    Just be prepared for more traffic hitting the site. New Mac users have to get their daily MDN fix, right ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. “PC World has learned that some Windows Media files on peer-to-peer networks such as Kazaa contain code that can spawn a string of pop-up ads and install adware. “

    I’m utterly shocked! Who would have thought that malware is distributed through P2P networks? After all, these are law-abiding citizens who distribute copyrighted material across the globe. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    Can’t help feeling a little glee here. It’s the classic story of the cheated cheater.

  3. Oh yeah, just wait until we start hearing about the viruses and adware popping up on Windows enabled cell phone. So, not only will you be able to leave your infested PC at home, but now, you can take the viruses with you. Now that’s what I call portable!

  4. This coming year Apple had better step up production of their hardware. That’s Apple’s next smart move… ADVERTIZE TIGER!!! & UP THE PRODUCTION OF MAC HARDWARE!!! Do it, Apple! Advertize Tiger and up the Mac production. PC users would flock to it if done right. 2005 is the year this NEEDS TO BE DONE! (before Longhorn ships and erases the PC’er brains again…)

  5. “2005 is the year this NEEDS TO BE DONE! (before Longhorn ships and erases the PC’er brains again…)”

    I wish it would have been 2004. How poetic if it was their aniversary year? Although, they did make the first step durring this year. They’re in a position to sieze. *please please please*

    And out of curriosity, has anyone heard a date when Longhorn will be released? Honestly now, Don’t just make cheap jokes.

  6. We have been playing halo on the macs at my work since its been slow during Christmas. The mouse is terrible for gaming. Apple really needs to get the gaming side of things straight before they can grab the young Windows users.

  7. I agree that I wish the gaming environment would take off a bit on the Mac. Apple should put a team on it. All they would have to do would be to have ONE mega-killer-everybody-wants-to-have-it game that only plays on the Mac. For some hard core gamers that would be enough of an incentive to add a Mac.

    It is always a bummer when I am recommending the Mac but I have to say “Unless you are a hard core gamer or you enjoy building your own computer, then windows is a little better”. I really really wish that I didn’t have to qualify it but there it is. This is something that the pundits who carp on The Cult of Mac followers just don’t get. Macheads usually will not try and defend their system when it is actually not better. We are all about “Truth in advertising” ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”cool smile” style=”border:0;” />

    The thing is, of course, that the Mac ACTUALLY IS BETTER over 90% of the time and the fact that we insist on pointing this out drives people who have chose windows nuts.

  8. The interesting thing is that WMA/DRM uses explorer tech to check for authorization. Right there you know it has a problem. I predict this is bigger then just files on P2P, this will extend out and make WMA/DRM unusable. It’s just the first symptom of an incurable disease.
    Another interesting thing is that the company behind this first round is associated with LoudEye. Many WMA music stores are tied in with LoudEye (they bought OD2). Slimeballs.

  9. I have many Window’s using friends, and there are a certain set of arguments that crop up, some Apple has fixed, some moronic, and some that (hopefully) will be fixed soon;

    1) Games – I hear this the most, and though Mac gaming has come along we need some special deal(s) to change this hinderence of getting young PC users

    2) Power – The G5 fixed this, finally a decent FSB

    3) 1 Button Mouse – Like I said, moronic, $15 @ CompUSA will fix this

    4) Price – We all know our High End machine have better Price/Performance, but the perceprion of not have the “entry point” $500 mac keeps some people from looking, even if they will eventually spend more.

    5) Expandability – This is mostly stupid because most people who complain about this only upgrade their RAM, HDD and Grafx Card and could use a Firewire device instead of the SCI

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.