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New INIT 17 Virus Busted

Technical Support Coordinator, BAKA Computers

In a joint bulletin released today by Gene Spafford of Purdue University, the various Macintosh antiviral developers announced the discovery of a new virus earlier along with new utility versions to combat it.

The new virus, dubbed INIT 17, infects the System file and most applications as they run, and is likely to spread quickly once a machine is exposed to the virus. The virus infects programs by modifying existing code, which can in some cases cause irreparable damage to the applications or the System file. On some low-end Macs (such as the Plus, SE, and Classic) the virus can cause the computer to crash while executing infected applications.

The only overt action by the virus is to display an alert message saying "From the depths of Cyberspace" the first time you restart an infected machine after 6:06:06 PM, 31-Oct-93.

Users of Chris Johnson’s freeware Gatekeeper package will be pleased to note that the current version, 1.2.7, catches INIT 17 already, so they need not update. John Norstad has released version 3.1 of his free Disinfectant utility. Jeff Shulman says registered owners of his shareware Virus Detective package will receive search strings in the mail (a good reason to register your copy!). All commercial antiviral publishers are sending updates to their subscribers and mailing notifications to registered users; contact the publisher of your utility for further information.

Information from:
Gene Spafford — [email protected]

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