The computer community kicked into high alert this week over a nasty virus which infects Windows-based systems. The malware uses an exploit — sort of a trojan horse — to ride inside Windows Meta File graphics, then break into Windows systems. Microsoft is working on a patch, but doesn't expect it to be ready until Jan. 10. Infections are already breaking out, delivering more than 70 different viruses so far.
This blog and the 3000 NewsWire Web site don't use any WMF graphics files. We never have, because we have always published using the Mac. There's no trojans in here to carry any WMF-based virus. As we read in one IT news journal Q&A: "Are Mac, Linux or Unix systems vulnerable? Very funny."
You can advise your Windows XP and Windows 2003 users to take these precautions about graphics, according to a Computerworld article:
1. Exercise caution when clicking on attachments, even from known e-mail addresses or IM pals.
2. Switching from HTML e-mail to text-only e-mail is also a good idea.
3. Those using the Internet Explorer browser should temporarily disable downloads by changing their browser’s Internet Zone security to “high.” Firefox and Opera users are prompted before WMF files are opened; these users should be encouraged not to open the files.
Be careful, but take heart: As the Texas Longhorns proved last night, Trojans can be defeated.