Archives: February 2006
Thu Feb, 16 2006
Still no Mac virus - another Trojan horse
Repeat after me, folks - a Trojan horse is NOT a virus. Anyone with the most basic programming skills can write a Trojan horse program for almost any operating system. If a user decides to run a dangerous program, you can only stop the user by not allowing the user to do ANYTHING.
Programs have to be able to create/delete files. Programs have to be able to run when the user asks them to. If someone writes a program that deletes all the files in your Documents folder and asks _you_ to run it they have NOT created a virus. They have merely tricked you into doing something stupid. Is it a virus if a stranger calls you on the phone and tells you to select all your documents, drag them to the trash, and choose Empty Trash? No.
A virus is something that runs without the user choosing to run it and has the ability to spread without the user having to directly execute it.
Once again, for those who don't get it: programs that do bad things but require the user to choose to run them are not viruses.
Read the actual facts by Andrew Welch of Ambrosia Software. He breaks down how it works (and doesn't work):
Ignore all the idiot pundits who are saying this is a change in the environment. You should never choose to run a program that you don't have reason to trust. Always been true, always will be until we make computers that decide what to do for us rather than leaving us in control.
 comments (1903 views) | link