Feeds

.NET virus is .NOT – Microsoft

Donut the cross-dresser

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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 Vmyths.com, 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 not 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. ®

External links

Description of the virus by McAfee

Related stories

Donut virus highlights holes in .NET
.NET may lead to fewer viruses

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.