BBC News blows it: Reports on dangerous Windows trojan, but illustrates it with a Mac (updated)

“The details of about 500,000 online bank accounts and credit and debit cards have been stolen by a virus described as ‘one of the most advanced pieces of crimeware ever created,'” Maggie Shiels reports for BBC News.

“The Sinowal trojan has been tracked by RSA, which helps to secure networks in Fortune 500 companies,” Shiels reports.

Shiels reports, “RSA said the trojan virus has infected computers all over the planet. ‘The effect has been really global with over 2000 domains compromised,’ said Sean Brady of RSA’s security division.”

“The RSA’s Fraud Action Research Lab said it first detected the Windows Sinowal trojan in Feb 2006,” Shiels reports. “Since then, Mr Brady said, more than 270,000 banking accounts and 240,000 credit and debit cards have been compromised from financial institutions in countries including the US, UK, Australia and Poland.”

“Users can get infected without knowing if they visit a website that has been booby-trapped with the Sinowal malicious code,” Shiels reports. “Sophos researchers reported in 2008 it was finding more than 6,000 newly infected web pages every day, or about one every 14 seconds.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Blah, blah, blah, same old, same old. The whole thing reads like a Mac commercial, as usual. Unfortunately, this article also uses a Mac as an illustration with “DANGER” tape over its screen which might lead some BBC readers to be confused. Apple Macs are unaffected – unless, of course, they are Intel-based Macs (unlike the one pictured) that are slumming it with Windows, in which case, all bets are off. Your Mac’s Windows partition can become as infected as any old POS Dell. Regardless, in the interest of fairness and accuracy, BBC News should immediately remove this illustration and replace it with an image of a PC that is prone to this trojan because it ships with Microsoft’s insecure and dangerous Windows operating system.

BBC News Feedback (online form) is here. Reference the BBC’s article URL:

[UPDATE: 11:11pm EDT: The BBC has changed their photo illustration to show a beige box PC monitor and keyboard with WIndows on-screen.]


  1. Though I probably agree with your politics, it’s probably unlikely that homosexuality and feminism have much to do with this particular decision (or with this thread). The fact that the BBC editors are “idiots” OTOH, now you’re talking!!!

  2. “Be wary of clicking on anything in a high traffic site like social networks.”

    You’re kidding right? THIS is a high-traffic site! Is that statement suggesting that the owners of high-traffic sites are colluding with the perps by allowing malicious links to be embedded in their sites? Or that legitimate sites have no control over whether malicious links appear on their site?

    If Macs were susceptible to these attacks I could easily attract Mac users in droves because I would hit them right where they live. Pride. Think about the kind of bait you could use to catch a Mac.

    Hit whores would have a field day. Think of the most outrageous statement you could possibly make and then attach a link to it. Like shooting fish in a barrel.

    Of course those who prey on Windows clients have to be way more clever than that because these people have seen it all, they know the drill, it’s in their DNA, and yet millions continue to succumb to their own stupidity and fall into these traps and even go so far as to bypass the remedy! Stupid is as stupid does.

    Now if I wanted to get Windows users to consider the Mac I would start a campaign of fear using the idea that Windows will never keep you safe. Even those who know they’re safe struggle with their own doubt.

    All your accounts are belong to us!

  3. The Beeb is almost as bad as our network news and their talking heads. It’s sad all over I guess. The most fun I have with the news is finding the typos in the character generator stuff – at least one per newscast on local and at least once a day on national. The asylum doors have been opened and they’re out there!

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