Windows Vista Shelled By First Virus

    August 5, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

An Austrian hacker has written the first Windows Vista virus, taking advantage of the new command shell in the platform.

When Microsoft released the Monad command shell in mid-July, it touted the scripting capabilities and flexibility it offered to advanced users. Those capabilities ended up helping someone write the first proof-of-concept viruses for the long-delayed Windows Vista operating system.

According to the virus writer may be an Austrian-based underground hacker. The viruses, dubbed Danom by Helsinki-based security firm F-Secure, would be more disruptive than damaging to Windows users.

Microsoft released the Monad shell a few days before the first beta of Windows Vista became available to developers. Many more developers will receive the second beta version of Microsoft’s 64-bit operating system in September at the company’s Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.

The viruses do not pose a threat to any current Windows users, according to a Microsoft representative cited in CNET News. Microsoft has planned to ship Monad with Exchange 12 next year, then with Vista. It seems likely that Monad would not be enabled by default in Windows.

Windows 2000 arrived with the Windows Scripting Host enabled, and that allowed VBS worms like the “I Love You” virus to spread via email around the world. As a result, many email administrators block emails with .vb or .vbs attachments at the gateway, and also removed or disabled WSH in machines that did not need it active on their systems.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.