MacMag

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MacMag
Common name MacMag
Aliases Drew
Brandow
Aldus
Peace
World Peace
Family Unknown
Classification Virus
Type Macintosh
Subtype Nuisance
Isolation December 1987
Point of isolation Unknown
Point of Origin Montréal, Québec
Author(s)

Richard Brandow,

Drew Davidson
This is the MacMag virus 'Universal Peace' message, as displayed on a Mac SE in March of 1988.

The MacMag virus, also known by various other names, was a computer virus introduced in 1988 by Richard Brandow, who at the time was editor and publisher of MacMag computer magazine in Montréal.[1][2][3]

Operation of the virus[edit]

The virus infected Macintosh computers, and the intention was that on 2 March 1988 all infected computers would show the message "RICHARD BRANDOW, publisher of MacMag, and its entire staff would like to take this opportunity to convey their UNIVERSAL MESSAGE OF PEACE to all Macintosh users around the world", and the virus would then delete itself. According to the virus itself, it was written by Drew Davidson. The virus was a boot sector virus, which was spread in the form of a HyperCard stack called "New Apple Products," which contained very poor pictures of the then-new Apple scanner. It copied a resource into the System folder on a Mac, as an "initial" program, which would run automatically every time the system started up. The program then copied itself onto any bootable disk which was opened.[4]

Damage caused[edit]

Brandow intended the virus to be benign, giving a friendly message and causing no harm. However a bug in the virus caused infected Mac II computers to undergo system crashes before this date. Another bug, which affected very few users, caused files other than the original virus to be deleted during the termination stage. It also caused a great deal of anxiety among users who found that their computers were infected with an unwanted program the nature of which was unknown. The virus infected Aldus software's FreeHand, and Aldus had to recall thousands of copies of FreeHand, leading them to threaten legal action.

References[edit]

  • Norstad, John. The Viruses. Disinfectant 3.7.1 ©1988-1997 Northwestern University.
  1. ^ Bocij, Paul The Dark Side of the Internet: Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Online Criminals, Praeger Publishers Inc 2006, ISBN 0-275-98575-X, ISBN 978-0-275-98575-2
  2. ^ "Chapter 8 MacMag". Cknow.com. 2009-05-09. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  3. ^ "The Risks Digest Volume 6: Issue 44". Catless.ncl.ac.uk. Retrieved 2010-06-14. 
  4. ^ "Virus History". Thermopyle.tripod.com. Retrieved 2010-06-14.