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Mac "Welcome Datacomp" virus?

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David Bittner

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Dec 2, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/2/95
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One of our Macs has been exhibiting a strange behaviour - every few
minutes it spits out the text string "welcome datacomp."

Anyone heard of this condition, know the cause or a good way to
track it down? I've run disinfectant, with no luck.

Thanks!
--

David W. Bittner ¥ Pixel Workshop Inc. ¥ 410.715.9050
bit...@clark.net ¥ Non Linear Editing ¥ Production ¥ 3D Rendering


Graham Cluley

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Dec 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/4/95
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>
> One of our Macs has been exhibiting a strange behaviour - every few
> minutes it spits out the text string "welcome datacomp."
>
> Anyone heard of this condition, know the cause or a good way to
> track it down? I've run disinfectant, with no luck.

From the Virus-l Faq:

G10) Occasionally the text "welcome datacomp" appears in my Mac documents
without me typing it. Is this a virus?

Most likely not. This phenomenon has been reported for a particular
make/model of third-party Macintosh-compatible keyboard. It appears to
be a practical joke, coded into the keyboard's ROM, that causes the
keyboard to output that text (as if it was typed) after a period of
keyboard inactivity. The only practical fix is to replace the keyboard.
This is, in effect, a hardware (technically "firmware") Trojan Horse -
the keyboard has features or functions that are not advertised and that
will be performed without the owner's or user's wish or permission.

Regards
Graham
---
Graham Cluley CompuServe: GO DRSOLOMON
Senior Technology Consultant, UK Support: sup...@uk.drsolomon.com
Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit. US Support: sup...@us.drsolomon.com
Email: gcl...@uk.drsolomon.com UK Tel: +44 (0)1296 318700
Web: http://www.drsolomon.com USA Tel: +1 617-273-7400
(Evaluation version available via Web: webpage will tell you password)

David Harley

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Dec 6, 1995, 3:00:00 AM12/6/95
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David Bittner (bit...@clark.net) wrote:

: One of our Macs has been exhibiting a strange behaviour - every few


: minutes it spits out the text string "welcome datacomp."

: Anyone heard of this condition, know the cause or a good way to
: track it down? I've run disinfectant, with no luck.

From the very comprehensive Mk.II comp.virus FAQ [recent posts indicate
that the problem might affect more than one 'brand' of keyboard]:

David Harley


Included text---------------------------------

G10) Occasionally the text "welcome datacomp" appears in my Mac
documents without me typing it. Is this a virus?

Most likely not. This phenomenon has been reported for a particular
make/model of third-party Macintosh-compatible keyboard. It appears to
be a practical joke, coded into the keyboard's ROM, that causes the
keyboard to output that text (as if it was typed) after a period of
keyboard inactivity. The only practical fix is to replace the keyboard.

This is, in effect, a hardware (technically "firmware") Trojan Horse--

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