I hope you don't mind too much if I exercise a right of reply. I'll take
any further discussion with Bob off the list.
OK, it ain't a myth. Rather, some reports are an overblown exaggeration. I
haven't seen the article in PC User so I don't know how they ran the story.
However, the very first reference Bob gave in his response to me
(http://www.sophos.com/virusinfo/articles/perrun.html) is from one
anti-virus company hosing down the danger here, and criticising reports
that's there's anything new or unusual here.
A JPEG on its own can't do damage in general. It's not a matter of time, it
simply can't be done in general. This virus is just another virus, the fact
it can read anything from a JPEG *after* it has infected your computer is a
red herring. I maintain my opinion that it's scaremongering to suggest
otherwise. If PC User didn't play down the JPEG angle, I still say that
they were irresponsible.
There is a remote possibility that some JPEG might smoke out a bug in some
particular, very poorly written, JPEG viewing software, but that is *not*
what this virus does, I know of no such occurrences up until now, and I
think it most unlikely to ever occur. There is also nothing special about
JPEGs here, the same possibility could exist for any sort of data file.
Word, Excel and so on can contain macros which are programs, and therefore
can and do contain viruses.
OK, anti-virus software is not all a con. I didn't say it was, but the
implication could be drawn. I certainly use it myself and I suggest
everyone else does too. Some anti-virus software companies are more
measured in their announcements than others, and I get annoyed by the more
hysterical ones. So, it seems, do other anti-virus companies.
Oh, and I'd like to echo other subscribers thanks for Bob's series on
digital cameras. I've been saving them all, and I suspect they'll live on
long after this discussion has hit the bit bucket.
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