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Graphics Accelerator Trojan Horse Cripples Apps


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 solution, delete the extension, then create an empty folder with the same name (note that the first character before "Graphics Accelerator" is the non-printing character of ASCII code 1) to prevent the virus from replicating. 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.

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