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Symantec increasingly desperate.

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CUPERTINO (Rixstep) -- Bill must have been making some calls. His Windows 7 is being ridiculed almost as much as its predecessor - and then Sophos come along and show graphically that it gets infected just as much as any other version.

Can't the Mac have a virus? Please? (Calls were definitely made.)

Symantec came up with the 'virus'. Except it's not a virus at all. It's only that Symantec are calling it one. Yes you read that right.

In a piece of brilliant marketing hokey-pokey, Ben Mahorney introduces his spellbound audience to OSX.Loosemaque (can you seriously believe the ridiculous names these dillweeds come up with) and fells the unforgettable:

'It's not just a game anymore.'

Ben comes up with a few more really admirable comments. Such as:

'Threats targeting the Macintosh platform are much less common than those targeting Windows. The same can be said about video games, where Windows is the dominate [sic] platform of the two.'

What supposedly happened is one of Ben's colleagues in Japan found a really cool variant on Space Invaders that penalises you 'for real' for screwing up - it deletes files from your home area! That's like 'Ultimate Space Invaders' or something. But although you may question the sensibility of anyone playing this or creating it - it's not a virus.

So Ben's sort of stuck there. Bill needs a Mac virus bad. And this isn't one. Not by a long shot. The game even tells you in advance how painful play can be. What's an honest hard working Windows virus researcher to do?

'What's interesting is that the author of this 'game' flat out says what it does on his website.'

Oops. There goes the 'virus spin' right out the Windows. And it's not just on the website the trail goes cold - the game itself says what it does in plain text when you start it.

'Reading through the author's description, it seems he has created this game/threat as some sort of artistic project. The aliens are your files and there are consequences for 'killing' them. However if you die the game is supposed to delete itself.'

Wow. That's a wild game alright. But is it a virus? Hold on - and watch Ben dance. Better than Bo Jangles.

'While interesting in its own right, there's nothing stopping someone with malicious intentions from modifying it slightly and then passing it on to unsuspecting users, causing significant damage to a computer. As a result, we're detecting this threat as OSX.Loosemaque.'

'We're detecting this threat' - you gotta love that turn of phrase. Almost as much as the name itself.

The cheque's in the post, Ben. There'll be food on the table tonight.

Further Reading
The Technological: I'll Never Get Used to This!
The Technological: I Could Really Get Used to This!
The Technological: Do You Think You Could Get Used to This?
The Technological: Windows 7 Falls Prey to 80% of Virus Attacks
The Technological: Windows-Generated Spam At All-Time High of 101%

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