Graphics Accelerator Trojan Horse -- An extension posted to the Info-Mac Archive on 25-Sep-98 has been identified as a destructive Trojan Horse/virus combination. The Graphics Accelerator extension purports to speed up graphics programs running on PowerPC-based Macs. Instead, it corrupts applications (and thus many control panels and background applications in the Extensions folder) and writes viral code to them. Even if you remove the Graphics Accelerator extension, the next time an infected application launches, it will replace the extension. As a workaround, delete the extension then create an empty folder with the same name to prevent the virus from replicating. (Note that the first character in the file name before "Graphics Accelerator" is the non-printing character ASCII 1, which often appears as a square box; you can create this character in SimpleText and many other editors by pressing Control-A.) You must reinstall infected applications from scratch or restore them from backup copies (see Adam's recent article series on backups). The Info-Mac moderators have removed Graphics Accelerator from main Info-Mac Archive, but it may still be available on some Info-Mac mirrors until their next update. Although all Info-Mac files are scanned for viruses, the number of submissions prevents the moderators from launching or installing all of them. As of this writing, no antivirus packages detect this virus. [JLC]
Single Time Machine Backups
Tired of Time Machine running all the time? You can turn it off in the Time Machine preference pane, but still initiate a single backup by choosing Back Up Now from Time Machine's menu bar icon. Of course, your backup is much less likely to be up to date, but Time Machine won't be taking any resources while you're trying to work.