Re: Watch out ! (Even JPEGs are sus now)

To: "Robert Inglis" <>, <>
Subject: Re: Watch out ! (Even JPEGs are sus now)
From: Paul Foxworthy <>
Date: Thu, 22 Aug 2002 12:19:07 +1000

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 ( 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.


Paul Foxworthy

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