Forwarding Address: OS X

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Mac Virus writing contest

Hot on the heels of my last post, MacDailyNews reports on the Mac OS X Virus Prize:
Contest goal: To lay to rest, once and for all, the myths surrounding the lack of spreading computer virii on the Macintosh OS X operating system.

Today, DVForge, Inc. announced the Mac OS X Virus Prize 2005, where the company is openly challenging all of the computer coders of the world to go after the $25,000 cash prize that they are offering to the first person to successfully create and deploy an "in the wild" active virus for the Mac OS X operating system.

For the contest, a 'virus' is defined as executable code that attaches itself to a program or file so that it can spread from one computer to another, leaving infections as it travels between computers.

For the contest, an 'in the wild' virus is defined as one that is able to spread as a result of normal day-to-day usage onto two or more randomly selected computers that are connected only via the internet.
Let the games begin!

Update: And end. Looks like the folks at DVForge got a bit of a spanking for this one:
"During the first several hours after making the public announcement, I was contacted by a large number of Mac users and Mac software professionals who shared their thinking with me about the contest. A few of these people are extremely well-regarded experts in the field of Mac OS X security. So, I have taken their advice very seriously, and have made the difficult decision to cancel our contest. I have been convinced that the risk of a virus on the OS X platform is not zero, although it is remarkably close to zero. More importantly, I have been convinced that there may be legality issues stemming from such a contest, beyond those determined by our own legal counsel, prior to announcing the contest. So, despite my personal distaste for what some companies have done to take advantage of virus fears among the Mac community, and my own inclination to make a bold statement in response to those fears, I have no responsible choice but to retract the contest, effective immediately."


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