The local evening news had a special virus warning tonight. Not especially unusual – they occasionally warn people about a Big Windows Virus that went around the week before. But Nirmala began the segment “This is the first virus to infect Apple’s Oh Ess Ecks… It’s spread through the ‘I-Chat’ instant messaging application… Be sure antivirus software is installed and up to date…” (I-Chat was in big letters on the side of the screen)
OK. So, first of all, I’m screaming at the TV “IT’S NOT A VIRUS, YOU MORONS! IT’S PRONOUNCED ‘TEN’ – YOU MORONS! That’s ‘iChat’ – YOU MORONS!”
Second of all, it’s not a virus. It’s an archive of an application, disguised as a jpeg (by cleverly using the super secret hacker technique of employing command+v to trick Mac Oh Ess Ecks users into infecting their systems). It’s not spread BY iChat – some schmoe may send a file that way, but if you’re stupid enough to double-click an unexpected file sent to you via IM, well, Darwin is at work… It’s not as though simply viewing a jpg image in a browser would infect your Mac, unlike some other systems out there. You actually have to explicitly accept the download, expand the archive, double-click the application, and provide your username and password before any damage can be done.
I know it’s a bunch of silly nits to pick, but I can already hear the mouthbreathers spouting off “so, did your Mac get hit by that IChat virus?” I wonder, if this is how lax they are about checking facts related to “virus” outbreaks, what else is slipping past them?