Lemme Hear You Say "D'oh!" (6/8/01)

Fellow Mac users rejoice! Long have we been second-class citizens when it comes to software availability, but those dark days are finally drawing to a welcome close. No longer will we be dejected observers sitting on the sidelines while the Windows crowd has all the fun; we may have missed out on ILOVEYOU, Melissa, AnnaKournikova.jpg.vbs, and scores of other big-name viruses that had the whole Wintel world a-hoppin', but turn that frown upside-down. According to MacInTouch, now Mac users don't need VirtualPC to experience the joy of self-replicating trojans that email themselves to everyone in a user's address book.

Yes, kiddies, it was only a matter of time; some pioneering individual has just crossed one more thing off the list of "Things You Can't Do On A Mac" by building one of those self-mailing trojans entirely in AppleScript. If you're the lucky recipient of an emailed attachment called "Simpsons Episodes," a quick double-click will load an actual episode guide in Internet Explorer-- while secretly causing Outlook Express or Entourage to email a copy of the script to everyone in your address book in the background. (So far this worm that SARC is calling "MacSimpsons@mm" doesn't do anything more destructive than move the contents of your "Sent Items" folder to the "Deleted Items" folder, presumably to avoid detection; perhaps there will be more actual mayhem in version 2.0. Still, this is a promising start.)

We should note that this particular script will apparently only work with Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, and Entourage-- proving still further that, as always, it's Microsoft that keeps our humble platform moving forward. As usual, we recommend that you kneel towards Redmond and give thanks thrice daily for the bounty that The Bill has seen fit to bestow upon us. Those of you heathens still using those "other" browsers and email programs, don't worry-- as long as they support AppleScript (and most of them do), eventually we're sure somebody will come up with comparable scripts that target your "alternative" software. The best way to make sure you're affected as soon as possible is to double-click any and every attachment that comes surging into your inbox, regardless of name, sender, or apparent file type. Eventually you're sure to find something destructive!

On a final note this joyous day, we feel compelled to point out that while Windows trojans typically try to lure hapless victims to launch the offending code with the promise of free porn, this Mac trojan tries to bait users with the promise of something far classier: free Simpsons episodes. Now, if that's not "playing to one's audience," we don't know what is...

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The above scene was taken from the 6/8/01 episode:

June 8, 2001: Brace yourselves-- CNET actually says that Mac OS X is better than Windows 2000. Meanwhile, automailing viruses are finally starting to show up for the Mac, while a disturbing "feature" quietly introduced in Windows XP stands poised to turn the whole Internet into one big Microsoft ad...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3103: Next Up: OS X vs. Holyfield (6/8/01)   Look, if we wanted accounts of baffling off-kilter and out-of-character behavior getting our minds all muddled and topsy-turvy heading into a well-deserved weekend, we'd ask for them, okay? (Or we'd just watch a Friday night episode of "The Lone Gunmen.")...

  • 3105: World Domination, Step 81 (6/8/01)   On the off-chance you need yet another reason to drop that clunky ol' Mac as soon as Windows XP surfaces this fall, here are two words that will sway you even further: Smart Tags. What are Smart Tags, you ask?...

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