Is there a danger opening WMV files in XP?

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Andy, May 11, 2006.

  1. Andy

    Dustin Cook Guest

    Hmm, I don't recall the original Apple II as being an ibm pc or
    compatable, no. I believe everyone, except mebbe you was on the same
    topic. PC's as in IBM pcs... DRM is primarily a PC thing. Are you lost?
    Try to stay with us, I don't know how much herion you've injected
    today, but we are discussing PCs... Ok?
    Apple made apples and later the macintrash. Just how wild were the
    apple viruses? I'd think you have a limited range with them....
    Really? I tried your suggestion, I must be terrible with google.

    * The first PC virus was created. Known as the Brain virus, it was
    written in Pakistan. The Brain virus was a boot-sector virus, which
    means it only infected the boot records of 360K floppy disks, but not
    hard drives. It would occupy unused space on the disk so that it could
    not be used. It was also the first "stealth" virus, meaning it tried to
    hide itself from detection. If a computer user tried to view the
    infected space on the disk, Brain would display the original,
    uninfected boot sector.


    * In November, the Lehigh virus was discovered at Lehigh University
    in the U.S. It was the first "memory resident file infector". A
    file-infecting virus attacks executable files. It gets control when the
    file is opened. The Lehigh virus attacked a file called COMMAND.COM.
    When the file was run (usually by booting from an infected disk), the
    virus stayed in the resident memory.
    * In December, the Jerusalem virus appeared at Hebrew University in
    Israel. It was also a memory resident file infector. It was the first
    virus that contained a bug that caused it to re-infect already infected


    * In March, the first anti-virus virus was written. It was designed
    to detect and remove the Brain virus and immunized disks against Brain
    * The Cascade virus is found in Germany. It was the first encrypted
    virus, meaning it was coded so that it could not be changed or removed.
    * Viruses started getting media attention, with articles in
    magazines like Business Week, Newsweek, Fortune, PC Magazine and Time


    History of Viruses

    The term ``computer virus'' was formally defined by Fred Cohen in 1983,
    while he performed academic experiments on a Digital Equipment
    Corporation VAX system. Viruses are classified as being one of two
    types: research or ``in the wild.'' A research virus is one that has
    been written for research or study purposes and has received almost no
    distribution to the public. On the other hand, viruses which have been
    seen with any regularity are termed ``in the wild.'' The first computer
    viruses were developed in the early 1980s. The first viruses found in
    the wild were Apple II viruses, such as Elk Cloner, which was reported
    in 1981 [Den90]. Viruses have now been found on the following

    * Apple II
    * IBM PC
    * Macintosh
    * Atari
    * Amiga

    Note that all viruses found in the wild target personal computers. As
    of today, the overwhelming number of virus strains are IBM PC viruses.
    However, as of August 1989, the number of PC, Atari ST, Amiga, and
    Macintosh viruses were almost identical (21, 22, 18, and 12
    respectively [Den90]). Academic studies have shown that viruses are
    possible for multi-tasking systems, but they have not yet appeared.
    This point will be discussed later.

    Viruses have ``evolved'' over the years due to efforts by their authors
    to make the code more difficult to detect, disassemble, and eradicate.
    This evolution has been especially apparent in the IBM PC viruses;
    since there are more distinct viruses known for the DOS operating
    system than any other.

    The first IBM-PC virus appeared in 1986 [Den90]; this was the Brain
    virus. Brain was a boot sector virus and remained resident. In 1987,
    Brain was followed by Alameda (Yale), Cascade, Jerusalem, Lehigh, and
    Miami (South African Friday the 13th). These viruses expanded the
    target executables to include COM and EXE files. Cascade was encrypted
    to deter disassembly and detection. Variable encryption appeared in
    1989 with the 1260 virus. Stealth viruses, which employ various
    techniques to avoid detection, also first appeared in 1989, such as
    Zero Bug, Dark Avenger and Frodo (4096 or 4K). In 1990, self-modifying
    viruses, such as Whale were introduced. The year 1991 brought the GP1
    virus, which is ``network-sensitive'' and attempts to steal Novell
    NetWare passwords. Since their inception, viruses have become
    increasingly complex.

    Damn... What's the deal I wonder? :)
    Your source seems to be missing the year of the first official AV, and
    obviously can't attribute the first PC virus as being apple 1, 2, or 3.

    Now, this is tons more boring information then anybody really wants to
    read, so my apologies... :)

    *yawn*. Try to stay on topic next time eh? PC... not apple. Know thy
    difference :)
    Dustin Cook, May 23, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  2. Andy

    Dustin Cook Guest

    Apples aren't IBM pcs, which you agreed are what we were discussing. :)

    CoreWars was a neat game, but not actually a virus. It would be
    classified as a worm I should think, it doesn't infect things... it
    merely copies itself.. but no infection is taking place in the process.
    You could easily write a program to make copies until you have no more
    space/memory left, but unless/until something is infected, it's still
    nothing more then a worm. A self contained program that replicates
    itself, and doesn't attach in any way to other programs is a worm. Not
    strickly speaking, a virus. And before you even try, a bootsector
    loader IS a program. :)
    Dustin Cook, May 23, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  3. Andy

    TwistyCreek Guest

    Oh brother!

    When I suggested Kurt revise history to include only "Network Viruses" so
    he could argue from an even more silly ass position, I never thought for a
    minute someone would be inane enough to actually make the attempt.

    My bad. I severely underestimated the depths of your inanity. :(
    TwistyCreek, May 23, 2006
  4. Andy

    kurt wismer Guest

    it's not a waffle, it's disambiguation... i figured the chances were low
    that anyone would have missed the product name evolution, but just in
    case i should be more specific... i was already well aware of the fact
    that other platforms had instances of viral programs before that point...

    did you miss the 90's entirely? pc became synonymous with the ibm pc
    compatible computer a long time ago... apples, macs, amigas, ataris -
    they all did a pretty good job of resisting cloning but the ibm pc's
    clones were legion and they couldn't all be called ibm pc since they
    weren't made by ibm so the name was contracted to just pc...

    i realize that it had another meaning before that, but nobody (not even
    apple computers) uses pc in the general personal computer meaning
    anymore - personal computers became the norm so 'personal computer'
    became a pointless distinction to make...
    kurt wismer, May 23, 2006
  5. Andy

    Art Guest

    That reminds me of a incident that occurred well before the advent
    of the first IBM PC. I was regularly using a $50,000 desktop
    computer manufactured by Hewlett Packard. The large company
    I worked for had purchased a fairly large number of these machines
    for use primarily in engineering labs where they resided on work
    benches (they were kinda large for a desk, actually).

    A customer training rep had many of us in a class, and he started
    rattling on about PCs. Now, to those of us who at one time or another
    had been involved with control engineering, a PC meant "programmable
    controller", a quite different kind of animal. So I raised my little
    picky and asked for clarification. Sure enough, he was talking about
    the subject Hp desktops. Apparently, the computer people at Hp
    had been referring to their line of expensive desktop computers as PCs
    for quite some time, and their people took it for granted that any
    audience would know WTF they were talking about :)

    The Hp desktop machine was very much like what IBM introduced
    later in many respects, but much better. For storage, it used a floppy
    drive with large (9 inch ?) disks. It had a tape deck built in with
    all the required software, of course. It came with line numbered BASIC
    but you could upgrade to a structured BASIC which was quite nice and
    very powerful. It ran several Hp peripherals including plotters and

    Any notion that _all_ pre-IBM PCs were cheap, inferior toys is way
    off the mark. IBM simply set a certain "standard" of price,
    capabilities and features that others followed by creating endless
    (usually much less costly) IBM PC clones.

    Art, May 23, 2006
  6. Andy

    Rick Merrill Guest

    It WAS more like a 'prion' than a real 'virus'!-)

    But it had a purpose and a delivery method. Someone was 'borrowing' the
    computer at night, so i loaded this in the boot addy. They fired it once
    and never came back! In fact, with memory full of 'it' any program that
    jumped off into data space was easy to backtrack!
    Rick Merrill, May 23, 2006
  7. Andy

    Dustin Cook Guest

    They know this. Without the PC term including apple, etc, the argument
    as pathetic as it is shows them to be asses. :) They need PC to include
    a wide range of computer systems, without it, their argument simply
    becomes hot air.
    That's all well documented in computer history too, they seem to be
    skipping those chapters in favor of labeling a PC anything. When's the
    last time we had support for an amiga virus here? heh..

    A serious question, has the quality of alt.comp.virus degraded so much
    that we have assclowns all the time now? Trolls didn't used to be a big
    deal. the other two groups crossposting too deal with security, hardly
    apple/amiga stuff there either. So what gives?
    Dustin Cook, May 23, 2006
  8. Andy

    Dustin Cook Guest

    I remember this machine Art. It was very proprietary I recall. Then
    again, the original IBM's were too.
    I don't think anyone has said as much, Art. :)

    What gets me tho is the fact someone (kurt) actually had to mention we
    were talking about ibm/clones, specifically. The things you take for
    granted eh?
    Dustin Cook, May 23, 2006
  9. Andy

    sillybanter Guest

    I don't know why people are so passionate about this, but you're
    really pushing credibility here - you can genericize the term to make
    it mean any personal computer, but that's far from common usage. "PC"
    has almost always referred specifically to systems that trace design
    back to the IBM PC.

    In the pre-IBM PC days of the Apple II, *nobody* called these "PCs".
    A Mac is a "PC" in your generic usage, but *nobody* would call a Mac a
    "PC" with a straight face. You know, all that talk about "Mac vs. PC"
    must be talking about something specific, don't you think?

    And what does it mean when software is called "PC-compatible"? Does
    it mean it works on any computer that happens to be used by one person?
    Of course not.

    I think everyone here knew what "PC" meant here when talking about "PC
    viruses." Maybe you don't like that use of the word "PC", but you're
    tilting at windmills.

    Incidentally, the definition in the Oxford English Dictionary says:

    PC (also pc), personal computer; spec. one that is IBM-compatible.

    Note the "specifically" part...
    sillybanter, May 23, 2006
  10. Andy

    Dustin Cook Guest

    I think you missed the point.

    I could writeup a simplistic virus, assemble it and release it on one
    of my lans here. Is it now, in the wild, since it's traveling on my
    closed network?

    Since the network is closed, only I will be able to see it's effects,
    short of allowing someone to see the infected LAN. Now, say I expand
    this lan to cover.. oh, 200 computers (ibm), is it in the wild yet?
    Remember, only I know it's here, it's not able to leave the lan.... so
    at one point does it become in the wild?

    For it to become itw, it has to leave this lan and continue to spread
    to other systems. Since nobody really trades floppies anymore, and even
    when they did, it was a slow going itw process. Basically, in the 80s;
    in the wild could have meant damn near anything.
    Oh, I dunno. You've made the attempt to compare copyright infringement
    as being the same as stealing a wallet, and that PCs (we were talking
    about ibm pcs) really mean any computer. Do you even have a position to
    take on any of it? Or do you just wish to troll?

    I'm looking forward to your answers regarding the wallet, but in case
    you missed them, Copyright infringement can get you $250,000 in fines
    and/or 5 years in federal prison. If you maintain these are one in the
    same crimes according to the books, why don't wallet thieves get this
    kind of punishment?

    You can't steal information, you can copy it. The original doesn't
    leave with you, duh. That's why the distinction.
    Dustin Cook, May 23, 2006
  11. Andy

    edgewalker Guest

    If the software is intended to be free (as in free beer) then there is no expected
    revenue for the author to be deprived of - and so no theft.
    Yes, the theft is of monies expected from the sale of the software, just as the
    identity theft is of depriving monies to the owners, not depriving them of their
    edgewalker, May 23, 2006
  12. So, and with what constitutional rights do you expect money for simple bits?
    Again: There's no base for such an expectation.
    That's why it's not called theft, but impersonation fraud. And well,
    this is usually the failure of the authentication method.
    Sebastian Gottschalk, May 23, 2006
  13. Andy

    Art Guest

    Nope. I just threw in my experience with a desktop called a PC by Hp
    as a matter of historical interest. There was something amusing about
    referring to a $50,000 machine as a _personal_ computer, as if most
    anyone could afford one for use at home :)
    When nothing productive, interesting or educational is involved,
    I just delete the posts. I've got far more interesting things to do
    than bicker back and forth on newsgroups.

    Art, May 23, 2006
  14. Maybe to 14 year old boys who spend way too much time in front of a TV and
    way to LITTLE time in school, but to the VAST majority of the world
    including Webster and Worldnet you're completely full of shit.

    PC - "Acronym for Personal Computer"

    "PC: personal computer"

    The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48

    PC PC n. (Computers)

    A personal computer; a computer designed for use by one person at a
    time; -- contrasted with shared-time computers such as mainframes and
    minicomputers, which may be accessed by multiple users each operating
    from a different input device (in the 1990's, usually a terminal)."

    WordNet (r) 2.0
    n : a small digital computer based on a microprocessor and designed to
    be used by one person at a time syn: personal computer, microcomputer.

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

    personal computer
    n. Abbr. PC
    A computer built around a microprocessor for use by an individual, as in
    an office or at home or school.
    You were OBVIOUSLY born in the 80's. Maybe even the 90's. Even BEFORE
    the Apple II we called our Heathkits and Altairs "PC's". The term was
    coined in the 60's when the powers that be came up with the IDEA of
    personal use machines to alleviate "overcrowding" on mainframes.

    You history lesson is also reheated and re-served....

    You have OBVIOUSLY never been out in the real world, in an office or other
    environment where everything is a "PC". Including a whole lot of other
    equipment that really has nothing at all to do with "personal computers"
    like dedicated word processors and dictation machines, and special use
    industrial controllers like those on some CNC machines.
    Yup. Smallish, often portable, digital, general use computing devices
    designed for single users and labeled with ANY company logo.
    And you believe marketing slogans and misnomers are relevant exactly HOW

    Like I though, you watch WAY too much TV.
    I'm being technically accurate. Whether or not that flies in the face of
    every self professed "expert" on Usenet is irrelevant. I've stated my case
    and backed it up with facts and a preponderance of the evidence. If you
    have a problem with that, I guess you'll just have to get some practice
    dealing with your problems, huh?
    I dunno what Oxford you're using but mine says absolutely nothing of the
    sort. Nor does Webster's or Worldnet.

    Maybe the drunks that published the version you salvaged from a fire were
    falling into the same trap our local script kiddie and wannabe AV "guru"
    are, best explained here...

    "The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (27 SEP 03)"
    personal computer

    <computer> (PC) A general-purpose single-user microcomputer
    designed to be operated by one person at a time.

    This term and the concept has been successfully hijacked by
    IBM due to the huge market share of the IBM PC, despite
    its many obvious weaknesses when compared to other equally
    valid claimants to the term, e.g. the Acorn Archimedes,
    Amiga, Atari, Macintosh.

    I wonder, did you just decide to make shit up as you go you little sneak?

    Borked Pseudo Mailed, May 23, 2006
  15. Andy

    Dustin Cook Guest

    Ah well. The term personal computer for a single user doesn't apply for
    most IBM clones anymore. Our self proclaimed expert should know that.
    Hey, what would I know tho, according to him, I'm a script kiddy. :)
    A point well taken. Speaking of far more interesting things to do, I
    need to rip (er, copyright infringe) a few movies today.

    Always a pleasure Art,

    Dustin Cook
    Dustin Cook, May 23, 2006
  16. I think you missed grades 3 through 12.
    No you strawgrabbing adolescent, and that's not the scenario regarding
    Apple PC viruses that were in the wild FIVE YEARS before Brain.

    How deliciously pathetic!

    Please DO amuse me to no end by quoting a single post where anyone said
    "PC" meant "all computers".
    My position is you're wrong, and a pathetic little weasel who lacks even
    half the guts it takes to admit it. You're so pathetic you'll make
    yourself look like a complete village IDIOT just to avoid it.

    And I've posted a whole mess of definitions and timelines to prove it,
    loser. :)
    Been there, done that. Your thread following skills bus be somewhere
    beneath your credibility and maturity.
    George Orwell, May 23, 2006
  17. Andy

    Unruh Guest

    There is no theft in either case. Loss of expected revenue is NOT theft (
    or Starbucks would have committed theft from thousands of coffee shops all
    over the world. ) "Giving away unauthorized free copies of said software"
    is copyright infringment, which is something different from theft, it is
    the violation of a monopoly granted by the state. (It is like people who
    supplied tea in Britain who were not granted the monopoly on tea trade by the

    That is because he is not a thief, anymore that someone who speeds is a
    thief. He may have broken a law ( civil in many cases) but not all laws are
    laws on theft.

    Deprivation of expected sales is NOT a crime. In fact it is encouraged in
    most western countries under the ruberic of "competition".
    Copyright infringement may be a crime, or a civil tort depending on the
    jurisdiction. Ie, If I infringe your copyright I may have harmed you but
    you, not the state, are responsible for prosecuting that and you may or may
    not be granted damages. That is far different from theft, where a) it is
    the state that prosecutes, and b) you as the victim are not granted any
    damages even if the thief is convicted.
    Unruh, May 23, 2006
  18. That might be true, right up to the point someone started a subthread
    about viruses and someone made the false claim that Brain was the "first
    wild virus ever".
    Borked Pseudo Mailed, May 23, 2006
  19. Andy

    Dustin Cook Guest

    Not to mention Xerox. Just think of all the theft people have commited
    with them. :)
    Alas, your wasting your time me thinks. Some individuals can't
    comprehend the difference.
    Again, I think it's a lost cause....
    Makes sense, expect some verbal chants coming your way from them, with
    some lame ass kiddy name calling following suit. It's a very impressive
    Dustin Cook, May 23, 2006
  20. Andy

    Dustin Cook Guest

    first wild virus ever... and you can post which one of us made such a
    bold claim? Word for word, right?
    Dustin Cook, May 23, 2006
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.