Vol. 2, Issue 37, November 2, 2004
Microsoft Insists It Was Capable of Creating Macintosh Virus
In a press conference this Monday, Microsoft furiously rebutted widespread allegations that it had nothing to do with the startling emergence of the Opener or Renopo virus, the first significant virus targeting Macintosh computers to appear in 15 years.
"I want to make it absolutely clear that Microsoft has an extremely capable R&D department and a thorough understanding of the Macintosh operating system code," said Microsoft spokesman Mark Martin. "This virus was entirely within our technical capabilities."
Microsoft appears stung by the fact that the world computing community widely assumed that the virus could not have originated in the software giant because it was "too well written."
"I mean, come on," said Harris Yankley, senior technology consultant for anti-virus firm Sophos. "Windows has reached the point where you need a daily patch not to protect against security threats, but to keep the code from imploding and melting your processor. The Opener virus is effective in remaining concealed and disabling security measures. You just don't use the words 'effective' and 'Microsoft product' in the same sentence."
The virus attempts to turn off the Mac OS X firewall and other security software. It will download and install hacker tools for password-sniffing and cracking, make key system directories world-writeable and create an admin-level user for later system abuse. It also turns off accounting and logging functions to help hide its presence.
"Turning off the logging functions, for example, is a clear example of a well-crafted program. No Microsoft engineer would have thought of that.
"We did too think of that!" scowled Martin. "We have fifty-five programmers whose exclusive job is to probe Mac OS X for potential security breaches. In fact, Microsoft has maintained a department devoted to developing Macintosh security breaches since 1984. It's part of our multi-pronged anti-Apple division."
Reporters present at the press conference were startled to hear this direct admission of the secretive division's existence, which has been strongly suspected since Microsoft's release of the astoundingly bloated and flaw-ridden MS Word 6 for the Macintosh. This version was so bad that many industry observers concluded it could only have been a deliberate attempt on the part of Microsoft to sabotage the Macintosh user community.
Martin, who apparently said more than he had intended, quickly left the podium taking no further questions. As he fled the conference room, though, he shouted something over his shoulder which should give the Macintosh community pause for thought.
"Wait until we finish Opener 2.0!" he yelled. "You'll never know what hit you!"