Well, they’re at it again, this time in France. Another virus has recently been discovered, though it isn’t new. ANTI-B is a slightly different strain of the ANTI virus that despite being discovered almost two years later, appears to be the initial version of ANTI. ANTI-A has some code in it which neutralizes the ANTI-B virus, which is the main difference and the evidence for the evolutionary sequence. Most virus detection and prevention utilities have been updated to find ANTI-B, resulting in new search strings for SAM and Virus Detective and a new version of Disinfectant (version 2.2). We’re not as familiar with the update mechanisms for most commercial virus programs because we wholeheartedly support John Norstad’s Disinfectant. As such, we haven’t been including the search strings for Virus Detective or SAM in recent virus articles – please let us know if that would be a more useful service than merely publicizing a new version of Disinfectant.
Disinfectant 2.2 includes a few minor bug fixes and enhancements along with the ability to detect ANTI-B. Most notable of these is the addition of the menu item "Desktop Files" in the Scan and Disinfect menus. This option allows you to quickly scan or disinfect just the invisible Desktop files for the WDEF or CDEF viruses. If you use Disinfectant, we recommend that you get the new version, though it isn’t quite as imperative as with previous versions.
Speaking of CDEF, there has been a bit of a flap in Ithaca, NY recently because the author of several Mac viruses (we assume MDEF and CDEF) was found to be a 16 year-old high school student here. The police are not releasing his name and have said that he is cooperating fully. Short of that, we have little information about the incident. It is nice to know that not all virus authors get away with never being detected, though we have no idea what the punishment will be (or has been) in this case.
Adam C. Engst — TidBITS Editor
John Norstad — [email protected]