First Family of Windows Vista Viruses Unleashed

By Dave

It is only a beta, and this is not really a virus, but it is interesting to note that before the software is fully released, the “most secure” version of Windows is already falling victim to what is driving the market crazy about its predecesor.

An Austrian hacker earned the dubious distinction of writing what are thought to be the first known viruses for Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system. Written in July, the viruses take advantage of a new command shell, code-named Monad, that is included in the Windows Vista beta code.

The viruses were published last month in a virus-writing tutorial written for an underground hacker group calling itself the Ready Ranger Liberation Front, and take advantage of security vulnerabilities in the new command shell. Unlike the traditional Windows graphical user interface, which relies heavily on the mouse for navigation, command shells allow users to use powerful text-based commands, much like Windows’ predecessor, DOS.

The viruses were written by a hacker calling himself “Second Part To Hell,” and published on July 21, just days after Monad was publicly released by Microsoft, according to Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer with Helsinki’s F-Secure (Profile, Products, Articles) Corp. Second Part To Hell is the pseudonym of an Austrian-based hacker who also goes by the name Mario, Hyppönen said.

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