We Mac users have sat smugly secure in the knowledge that our Macs are more secure than those running Windows. When news of the Anna Kournikova virus, the ILOVEYOU virus, and all the related viruses sweeps the planet, we sit back, chuckle, and say "You shouldai bought a Mac!" This weekend, we hit the big leagues it would seem, because someone has released a Trojan Horse virus for Mac users alone. Observer Justin alerted us to this:
I received the e-mail on June 2nd. I deleted it since, but I forwarded the text to a friend of mine, so I had a copy in my sent items folder. The recipients include email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, and of course, one of my own e-mail address.
[Editoris Note: We are not printing the recipient list in case any of them are legitimate addresses.]
The body of the e-mail reads as follows:
Hundreds of Simpsons episodes were just secretly produced and sent out on the internet, if this message gets to you, the episodes are enclosed on the attachment program, which will only run on a Macintosh. You must have system 9.0 or 9.1 to watch the hilarious episodes, in high quality. Just download and open it. From, The Fox Network
Trojan Horse viruses are not true viruses at all, but rather a program of some sort that is masquerading as another, usually benign, program. When the hapless recipient launches it, its true task is accomplished. On the Windows side, the malicious part of a Trojan Horse might erase the useris hard drive, embed itself to be used later in a Denial of Service attack, send data from the system to the initiator of the virus, or do what the Anna K. virus did which was to send itself to everyone it could. The harmful aspect of that was not a loss of data, but rather its ability to bring networks to a crawl and cause lots of time and resources to be wasted.
This Trojan Horse, which MacInTouch has labeled the "Simpsons AppleScript Virus," is a simple AppleScript which does two things (similar to the Anna K. or ILOVEYOU viruses). It launches your browser to a URL, and then launches Entourage and/or Outlook Express and instructs those apps to send the same e-mail message to everyone in your address book. If you donit have Outlook Express or Entourage configured, you should be safe from his particular Trojan Horse.
Thanks to Observer Justin for the heads up!