[ISN] .NET virus is .NOT - Microsoft

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Jan 15 2002 - 08:07:39 PST

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    By John Leyden
    Posted: 14/01/2002 at 19:49 GMT
    Last week, antivirus vendors exposed Donut, supposedly the world's
    first .Net virus. Only it isn't a. NET virus, Microsoft argues.
    Donut is simply a native executable that elects to modify only
    applications written for the Microsoft .NET Framework in the Microsoft
    Intermediate Language (MSIL) PE format, the software firm says.
    "In fact, the method of infection is the same as many much older
    viruses, and it is detected by anti-virus software as a much older
    loader virus," Microsoft states in an open letter on the subject.
    Rob Rosenberger, editor of , the definitive chronicler of the hype and
    hysteria which envelops computer security, supports Microsoft's
    assessment. Donut would be better termed an "executable wrapper" than
    a .NET virus, he says.
    "If you can envelop a .ZIP file within a self-extractor .EXE module,
    then OF COURSE you can do the same with a .NET file.
    "It appears the author relied heavily on assembler, plus some C code,
    plus a token amount of MSIL. The author went to some rather impressive
    lengths to envelop a .Net file within a non-.NET module."
    Describing Donut as the first .NET virus was like "like using the term
    'woman' to describe a male cross-dresser", Rosenberger argues.
    Jack Clark, product marketing manager for the McAfee division of
    Network Associates, said since Donut affected only machines with .NET
    installed and Win32 machines it was reasonable to describe it as a
    .NET virus.
    He agreed with Microsoft's assessment of the low threat posed by Donut
    but maintained that its existence was "proof of concept" that .NET
    might be used maliciously.
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