Dragging pics from the net to your desk top. Can you get a virus?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Jazzandmetal?, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. Jazzandmetal? macrumors regular

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    #1
    If you drag a pic to your desk top and then put it in iphoto can a virus be embedded in it?
     
  2. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

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  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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  4. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    #4
    It's not that difficult at a theoretic level to make a JPEG (or similar) that can be malicious. Apple have patched the various image decoders in Mac OSX more than once to prevent this sort of attack. Basically when the components that interpret and render images load an image they allocate buffers to store data in. A malicious image will trick the code into loading too much data into the buffer (this is a code error in the decoder). The extra image "data" will now end up in executable space. So what was image data is no code and can be run.

    Still the chances are that this could never be a virus, it'd not be able to self replicate, rather a method for non-replicating malicious code to enter the system. Fortunately OSX (and later version of Windows) implement a number of security technologies to lessen the chances of this sort of attack, the foremost being address space randomisation.
     
  5. kepner macrumors 6502

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  6. Jazzandmetal? thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 24, 2008
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    #6
    Was just curious. I am still new to mac and the feature to be able to drag and put in iphoto is a cool thing. Just wasn't sure if something could be embedded in a jpeg and than hurt your cpu when saving it in iphoto.
     
  7. agentphish macrumors 65816

    agentphish

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    #7
    For now...You really only need to worry about that sort of thing on Windows.

    I believe in the future the virus writers will start to attack OS X, but I don't know how successful (if at all) they'll be.
     

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