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View Full Version : The case of a mystery virus..


wilbur75
Jun 14, 2004, 11:07 AM
OK I know it's been written in lots of other threads that there are no known mac viruses, is everybody completely positive about this? Because it appears that my Mac may have caught one.

Whenever I email attachments (tends to be word documents but sometimes photos too) from my computer to friends or colleagues who run anti-virus software on their PCs, it blocks the email stating it had detected a virus.
Coupled to that, my Mac is starting to shut down without any warning. Something strange is going on.

I haven't installed any anti-virus software, for the simple fact that almost every forum or magazine article, suggests there is no need, so I don't really know if I do or do not have one.

Has this happened to anyone before, or does anyone know a solution? Could it be I have a virus???

Please help. Thanks.

rendezvouscp
Jun 14, 2004, 11:27 AM
OK I know it's been written in lots of other threads that there are no known mac viruses, is everybody completely positive about this? Because it appears that my Mac may have caught one.

Whenever I email attachments (tends to be word documents but sometimes photos too) from my computer to friends or colleagues who run anti-virus software on their PCs, it blocks the email stating it had detected a virus.
Coupled to that, my Mac is starting to shut down without any warning. Something strange is going on.

I haven't installed any anti-virus software, for the simple fact that almost every forum or magazine article, suggests there is no need, so I don't really know if I do or do not have one.

Has this happened to anyone before, or does anyone know a solution? Could it be I have a virus???

Please help. Thanks.

Well, a virus would probably be immediately detected and known by the Mac community, so it is safe to say that unless you are the first to have a new virus, there is no viruses for Mac OS X. But, you can pass on Windows viruses to PC's, just like passing a real virus or cold. As for your Mac shutting down, what model do you have? What are the energy settings set to? More information is needed to really determine what is causing that. Good luck.
–Chase

TMA
Jun 14, 2004, 01:00 PM
Whilst there haven't been any 'viruses' as such for Mac OS X there have been a few trojans or potential exploits.

I think it was about a year ago there was a site that contained a trojan that could infect OS X. If you went to the site the trojan would load itself onto your system and cause problems (Shut downs and crashes could be a side effect, though I can't remember what was said at the time)

And more recently some exploits involving nasty scripts disguised as MP3's and terminal scripts that could be run by visiting a web site. I haven't heard any stories of people being affected by these, it's just that a potential hole had been noticed. I believe these have both been fixed with security updates.

It sounds to me more likely that your system is crashing for another reason and that your friends anti-virus isn't liking your emails due to the file extensions or email headers. I'm sure some other folks could help you with more information about that.

chv400
Jun 14, 2004, 01:04 PM
i know that there are viruses that affect OS 9. A lot of them affected Word and IE. my school has gotten a couple . It's just now getting ready for the switch to OS X. (New G5 Xserve and a big license for panther)

7on
Jun 14, 2004, 02:45 PM
You could have infected .DOC files that you're sending to friends. And the only way for your friend's anti-virus to work is that the virus has to be a known one. Anti-virus doesn't detect unknown viruses. Which is why a lot of people got the MyDOOM and MSblaster viruses, because their virus defs weren't up-to-date. Anti-virus is usually just a false sense of security in most situations.

But I'd say someone configured your computer to shutdown at certain times and you might have a Word virus. But it could also be a number of things.

KingSleaze
Jun 14, 2004, 03:33 PM
Your Mac may have a PC virus. Doesn't affect you, but could be getting sent out to your friends. You're just a carrier.

wilbur75
Jun 15, 2004, 06:08 AM
Does anyone know how I can get rid of the PC virus from my mac? Will mac anti-virus software pick it up???

Thanks for your help on this.

mkrishnan
Jun 15, 2004, 07:21 AM
Does anyone know how I can get rid of the PC virus from my mac? Will mac anti-virus software pick it up???

Norton AV picks up known Windows virii. I've gotten pinged by it on files from the net before. Which actually reminds me now I went to some random site by google which kept insisting on downloading an .exe file to my downloads folder. I didn't want to share the link with my PC friends cuz I was afraid it was a virus, but maybe it isn't? NAV didn't say a peep about it.

Also is it possible that your mail program has a "use windows friendly attachments" that might also be involved in problems your win friends have with your files? AV programs only pick up known *virus patterns* so maybe there's some aspect of the way its getting sent that looks like a primitive virus.

And O/T segue ... What does the mail.app "use windows friendly attachments" do anyway?

rendezvouscp
Jun 15, 2004, 12:19 PM
According to Mail:

If you send a file (for example, "MyFile") to someone who uses a Windows computer, the recipient might see two files: "MyFile" and "._MyFile." The recipient can ignore the file named "._MyFile."

Use filename extensions, such as .doc, in the names of files you send to Windows recipients. This way the files can be read by a Windows application.

But the option is supposed to prevent those two problems. But:

If you send attachments to Mac users with the "Windows-friendly" option selected, your attachment may be unusable or may be missing information (such as the preview icon for the file).

Interesting.
–Chase

MisterMe
Jun 15, 2004, 12:29 PM
According to Mail:

....

If you send attachments to Mac users with the "Windows-friendly" option selected, your attachment may be unusable or may be missing information (such as the preview icon for the file).

Interesting.
–ChaseHow can a "Windows-friendly" attachment be unusable? It won't be any less usuable than a similar file created on a Windows computer.

rendezvouscp
Jun 15, 2004, 01:04 PM
How can a "Windows-friendly" attachment be unusable? It won't be any less usuable than a similar file created on a Windows computer.

Who knows, but that's according to Mail's Help.
–Chase

LeeTom
Jun 15, 2004, 02:59 PM
step 1: get an antivirus program.
step 2: run the antivirus program.
step 3: there is no step 3!

osprey76
Jun 15, 2004, 03:04 PM
Does anyone know how I can get rid of the PC virus from my mac? Will mac anti-virus software pick it up???

Thanks for your help on this.

All Mac antivirus programs should clean files of Windows malware.

You've yet to say what OS you're running. If it's OS 9, the story is quite a bit different than 10.x.

mkrishnan
Jun 16, 2004, 05:47 AM
According to Mail:
...


Thanks! I guess I missed this in the help. That makes sense. Maybe when it says unusable it means on a Mac, maybe for certain mac only programs. I'd expect the windows version of a win-typical file to work though! :)

wilbur75
Jun 18, 2004, 04:27 AM
I'm currently running OSX10.something or other, and a have a Quicksilver machine. Just so you know!

I think it's time to sit down and check whether the settings are set for windows friendly.

To add to the mystery, I've just been told from my flatmate that Hotmail's inbuilt virus detector is also filtering out emails from my machine!

I'll let you know whether fiddling with the settings work. Otherwise it looks like I'm going to have to get some anti-virus software.

Cheers for the help.

7on
Jun 18, 2004, 11:49 AM
You can try sending an email to my Hotmail account and I'll see what it has

master_of_media@hotmail.com

themadchemist
Jun 18, 2004, 12:18 PM
Which actually reminds me now I went to some random site by google which kept insisting on downloading an .exe file to my downloads folder.

can anyone say porn or warez? ;)

mkrishnan
Jun 18, 2004, 11:20 PM
can anyone say porn or warez? ;)

LOL Yeah, I know, I'm pretty suspicious, huh? It was just a fan gallery of some (fully clothed) actress that a friend liked. She was asking for help finding pictures of this actress. But it *was* hosted by an Eastern European server, and it did have that sort of look that warez sites usually have. The HTML equivalent of a slack jaw. ;)