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 lyrics.zip, 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.

WILL YOU WINDOWS PEOPLE PLEASE WAKE UP?! STOP TRYING TO SAVE $7 UPFRONT – YOU’RE GETTING BURNED!

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.

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24 Comments

  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

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