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.../Files & Messages/Message Bases/Press Releases/Saddam Virus on Fish CD!
19249.3.131.1 from usenet
11/8/93 11:34 125/5858 Harv

[these are two postings to Usenet this date by Fred Fish...]

Newsgroups: comp.sys.amiga.misc
Path: portal!sdd.hp.com!swrinde!emory!europa.eng.gtefsd.com!darwin.sura.net
 !sgiblab!majipoor.cygnus.com!fnf
From: fnf@cygnus.com (Fred Fish)
Subject: Re: WARNING (Was: New Fish CD is here.)
Message-ID: <CG4wrz.BDK@cygnus.com>
Keywords: Fish, CDROM
Organization: Cygnus Support, Mountain View, CA
References: <2b6388INNbr@life.ai.mit.edu>
  <2bilh3$336@urmel.informatik.rwth-aachen.de>
Date: Sun, 7 Nov 1993 18:31:10 GMT
Lines: 27
Portal-Origin: Usenet
Portal-Type: text
Portal-Bytes: 1452
Portal-Location: 17311.3.12654.5

In article <2bilh3$336@urmel.informatik.rwth-aachen.de>,
Stefan Becker <stefanb@hathi.informatik.rwth-aachen.de> wrote:

>I talked with Fred on the WoC in Cologne. He'll destroy the first run of
>the CD and produce a new version without the file. Everyone will get the
>new version for free. I'm sure he'll post an official statement on this
>when he gets back to the US.

I managed to find an internet connection here in Cologne so I could
telnet back home to read my mail and news postings about this issue.
Stefan is correct (thanks for posting in case I couldn't), the first
CD does contain a virus and I will have to make a replacement CD-ROM.
This replacement will be available about Nov 20-24 and will be free
to anyone that wishes to return the original for replacement.  I'm
not going to insist that people return their original CD-ROM if they
understand the issues involved and wish to keep it for personal use.
However, if the CD-ROM is to be made publically accessible such as
via ftp, or via a BBS, then it must be replaced with the virus-free
version.  I will send a letter to all subscribers who received the
CD-ROM directly from me, explaining the problem and offering the
replacement CD-ROM.  I will do this immediately upon my return
from Germany, on Nov 12th.

We destroyed about 500 CD-ROM's here at the Cologne WOC show,
where I carved up the optical side with a knife and signed the
front, and gave them away as souvenirs.

-Fred
------


(I've also mailed this to the comp.sys.amiga.announce moderator but
 I wanted to get it posted as soon as possible so please excuse the
 duplication here.  -Fred)

On Nov 2nd, two hours before I had to leave to get on a plane to go to
the WoC show in Cologne Germany, I got a FAX that said there was an
active Saddam Hussein virus on disk 919 in the BBBF submission.  This
was later confirmed when I arrived in Cologne on Nov 4th.

Because the contents of disks 911-930 are on the Oct Fresh Fish
CD-ROM, this problem also affects that CD-ROM.

The details, as I understand them at the moment, are:

(1)     The virus is on disk 919 in the BBBF submission.  The exact
        filename is "BBBF/FileVirLib/VirusToTest/Saddam_Hussein_virus".

(2)     The virus is only dangerous if you are running kickstart
        1.2 or 1.3.  However it is a *very* dangerous virus.

(3)     In order to infect your system you would need to execute
        the file containing the virus.  Under normal use of the
        CD-ROM, there is no danger from the virus.

User's might legitimately ask how such an error could occur, including
an easily detectable virus (using most virus checkers) and one with an
obvious name as well!  The only explanation I can offer at this point
is that we obviously didn't run a virus checker over all files on the
CD-ROM (though we do normally have virus checkers running on the test
systems that will detect viruses when they get run), and that the
person working for me on that batch of floppy disks didn't realize
that this was an actual working virus and not just a test file that
simulated a virus or a castrated virus that would be no danger.  It's
still my responsibility though, so any blame for including it must
fall on me.

As soon as I return home, on about Nov 12th, I will reissue disk 919
with the virus removed, and send copies of the replacement floppy to
all of my direct subscribers.  I will also send a letter to all of my
direct CD-ROM subscribers, notifying them of the problem and offering
a replacement CD-ROM at no charge, should they wish to return the
virus infected one.  I will not insist that all CD-ROM users return
their CD-ROM's, except those that use the CD-ROM in such a way that
the file containing this virus is publically accessible, such as on a
BBS or ftp server.

Once we were certain that the CD-ROM contained an active virus we
halted further distribution of the CD-ROM.  This meant that I had to
destroy approximately 500 CD-ROM's at the WoC show in Cologne, much to
the frustration of local German users who begged to be allowed to
purchase them.  The optical side was carved up with a knife, I signed
the front, and we gave them away as souvenirs of the show.

Ultimately I expect this virus to cost me about $3,000 to $5,000 in
lost productivity time, CD-ROM replacement production costs, and
shipping charges.  So you can be very sure I'll be doing everything in
my power to avoid future virus problems.

I am very disappointed that Safe Hex International apparently offered
no warning that their distribution included an actual working virus
rather than just a file simulating a virus or a castrated, harmless
virus.  Furthermore, to pick such a dangerous virus seems to me to be
very irresponsible.  I'm not contemplating any sort of legal action at
this time since I don't feel that the submission had any malicious
intent, though I'm also not ruling such action out for now, or in the
future should I discover new submissions containing trojan horses or
viruses.

Because of the time I will lose dealing with this problem, the next
Fresh Fish CD-ROM may be delayed a week or so.  My best estimate at
the moment is that the December Fresh Fish CD-ROM (aka the second
monthly CD-ROM) should ship about the second or third week of
December.

-Fred



                               » Fido News «
                                 ---------



*** Area: AMIGA                                   Date:  6 Nov 93 3:23:00 
*** From: Adam Sternberg (1:209/216.0) 
*** To  : All 
*** Subj: Mr. Dvorak

I want to put to rest a little thing I have noticed about the trends of
Mr. John Dvorak.  A friend of mine just told me that he found an
article of his in an old computer magazine where Mr. Dvorak was praising
the Amiga and how lovely it's 16-bit, standard audio was.  he went on
and on about this when he really had no clue to the fact that anyone
with a trained ear could realize that the Amiga, in fact, has 8-bit
audio.  Mr. Dvorak over the years has spewn out nothing but negetivity
towards the Amiga, or anybody that disagrees with his close-minded view
of the computer community in the same fanatical way that Rush Limbaugh
chastises any person with a different opinion than his own.  Mr. Dvorak
is an inconsistant person who supports his opinions with the strength of
a lunar wind.  One minute, he loves the PC, the next he is damning it
in praise of the Mac, while all the while he pokes fun at the Amiga
unprovoked.  For example, the following is taken from an article of his
in the August 1992 issue of PC Magazine entitled, "My Wife Thinks I'm
Nuts."

...My earlier reluctance (from switching to OS/2) stemmed from my
observation that the OS/2 promoters acted like the crackpot Amiga users
who think that all mankind is crazy because the whole world doesn't use
the Amiga.  This is a different crowd from the Mac fanatics, who are
just plain arrogant.  But at least teh Mac fanatics don't whine so damn
much as the Amiga users do...

Now I have pointed out MANY fanatics of this calibur that write on this
echo from time to time (not to mention any names like John Covington)
but this is a very stereotypical statement coming from such a person. 
Needless to say, I don't know many people that consider anything Mr.
Dvorak says to be worth it's weight in mud, but even still, a person
badmouthing another platform, and it's user base in a major computing
magazine is both obnoxious and unprofessional.  It is true that Mr.
Dvorak has made good points as to the current status of the Amiga, yet
his constant negetivity is a reoccurring theme that makes the Amiga
sound like an old 8-bit remnant of yore.  But in fact, even with it's 8
year-old technology base, the Amiga is still a dominant figure in
desktop video...such a figure the PC and the MAC have been trying to
attain for years now.  Contrary to what some say here, or on many other
Amiga based echos, the Amiga is simply not the best at every single
aspect of desktop computing and to deny that is simply ignorant and
naive.  However, what the Amiga does specialize in, it does DAMN well
and that is something to be proud of in this day and age where many
competing companies spend more in a year in advertising than Commodore
is WORTH.  There is nothing shameful in admitting that the Amiga might
not have the best games, or the largest software base, or the cheapest
add-on hardware, rather we should all be proud that there is such a
strong user support to make up for such a lack of company support.   If
it were not for the strong spirit of people such as Fred Fish, the Amiga
would be just another corpse in the graveyard of outdated computers.  
People like Mr. Dvorak are complainers that are never satisfied with
what they have or don't have.  If the next Amiga had a R4400, 16-bit
sound card, RTG, 24-bit graphics, and cost $50, Dvorak would complain
that the Amiga had an ugly shade of beige that clashed with the
wallpaper in his computer room and therefore was a sorry excuse of a
computer.  Well to that and all the Dvoraks of the world, I hereby say
PPBBBBTTTHHH!!!! :P

<<<Soapbox Mode OFF>>>


                      ------------------------------



*** Area: AMIGA                                   Date:  4 Nov 93 19:48:00
*** From: Tony Belding (0:10/8.0)
*** To  : All
*** Subj: CD32 3DO EMULATOR

 * This msg is forwarded from VID_GAME
 * Originally From: Frank Eva in FidoNet
 *            To  : All
 *            Date: Sunday 31 October 1993  09:31:15
 
Posted by the Video Sigop of the Safe Harbor Amiga BBS:

Utilities Unlimited, makers of the Emplant emulator board, is working
on -- get this -- a 3DO emulation module for the Amiga CD32. This was
revealed the other day in a post from UU on one of the national
boards. Apparently, the 3DO module either will emulate the special
3DO chipset or will use a licensed set. The 3DO Company is in fact
licensing these chipsets to interested manufacturers. Other news:

* UU expects the module to run around $299. Meaning that a CD32 with
a 3DO module would retail for less than a real 3DO at current
suggested prices.

* The module would make use of the CD32's chunky-to-bitplane graphics
conversion routines in hardware, to keep speed up.

* The module would convert 3DO 24-bit graphics to HAM8 in hardware.

* The module would run at least as fast as a real 3DO. According to
UU, while 3DO uses a RISC processor, it is rated at only 12 Mhz, and
the CD32's 14 mhz 68020 can handle that.

* The 3DO comes with 3 megs of RAM. CD32 comes with 2 megs. The
Emplant 3DO emulator would not come with extra RAM, but should
provide a pass-through port for RAM add-ons.

* No word if this module would function simultaneously with
Commodore's promised MPEG video module.

* The 3DO Emplant will work only with CD32, and most likely not with
any CD32 peripherals that Commodore may offer for the A4000 or A1200.

All in all, this is tremendously good news. If UU pulls this off,
CD32 immediately adds to its potential market. It's not a sure thing,
because 3DO, for all its impressive hardware, is not a sure thing.
But it can't hurt!

By the way, news of this reached a non-Amiga-specific game forum on
GEnie this weekend, and most people there were incredulous.
"Impossible" was the most frequently used comment. However, UU showed
it possible to emulate a color Mac at normal or better speeds on an
Amiga with its first Emplant emulation module, putting the lie to
people who said THAT was impossible. It's vaporware until we see it,
but UU has a track record of success, so let's wait and see.

A Sega unit is in development in Germany for Emplant, as well.

UU says that Emplant will run multiple simultaneous emulations, with
the restriction of one emulation per platform (e.g., you could
emulate one Mac, one PC and one Sega machine all at one time, but no
more than one each).


                      ------------------------------



*** Area: AMIGA                                   Date:  6 Nov 93  1:48:00
*** From: Jon Peterson (1:383/25.0)
*** To  : All
*** Subj: FF1000th Aniv Update

Here is the list of donors for the fourth week of the FFish
1000th Anniversary thingy.

Jon Peterson
Matthew L. Schultz
Chris Nelson
Asha DeVelder
Marshall Freedland
Jeremy Friesner
Michael Phipps
Darrin & Lisa Zimmerman (Amiga Un-Sig of Southern Michigan)
Eric V. Peterson (Canada)
Eric Zimmer
Fred M. Hamilton
Michael Meredith (England)
David Jennings (Australia)
Gary Delzer
David Gomme (appreciation to FFish)

(This is finally getting international.... Where's Hong Kong??)

Total donations as of 10/30/93 are $300.00.  Got a ways to go folks to 
purchase the A4000T.  Please talk this up with all concerned (Amiga users) 
and pass the word on to your Users Groups. If you haven't joined the effort, 
slip that hand into the pocket and pull out some bucks, put it into any en-
velope and send it in.  Let's show what the Amiga community is all about.
Check over some of the programs you have benefitted/are benefitting from.  
Register them and/or pitch in for FishFund. *Reminder to everyone PLEASE!!! 
pass the word at any Users Group meetings you attend. This should be a 
group effort on behalf of all the Amiga users throughout the world. 
Please donate whatever you can afford - or even better - what you honestly 
think FFish's work has been worth to you through the years. You think
speed kills?  Try apathy!  Let's make this thing happen. Thanks.



                      ------------------------------


*** Area: AMIGA                                   Date:  6 Nov 93 21:21:00
*** From: Jack Helser (1:343/10.0)
*** To  : All
*** Subj: GOLD SERVICE?

Anyone know what's going on at the CBM Gold Service Depot in Memphis?

I sent my new A3000 to them via FedEx around 9/8 for a serial port
problem. When I originally called to make arrangements to return it,
the CBM rep. said they'd repair and return it in 1 week. I didn't start
calling them until 3 weeks had elapsed. They've used a number of
excuses: parts shortages, understaffed, lots of machines ahead of mine,
more parts shortages, blah, blah.

One week ago when I called I was told "your machine is next to go on
the bench...".  I learned on Friday 11/5 that it was still on
the bench, running with the lid off, but no one could find the
technician to see what the status was.

The phone rep. supposed that they were waiting for parts again.

It's now been 8 weeks, and I'm out of patience.

Anyone have a similar experience with the Depot? How long did it take
you to get your machine back? And did they fix it right?

I'll be calling and FAXing CBM on Monday. I'm going to ask for a refund
if they can't get it back to me fixed right by 11/12 (9 weeks). Or, they
can always just ship me an A4000 and keep the A3000. :)



                      ------------------------------



*** Area: AMIGA                                   Date:  9 Nov 93  9:53:57
*** From: Mike Barsoom (1:285/11.9)
*** To  : Jack Helser
*** Subj: GOLD SERVICE?


In a message of 6 Nov 93 Jack Helser wrote to All:

 JH> Anyone know what's going on at the CBM Gold Service Depot in Memphis?
 JH> I sent my new A3000 to them via FedEx around 9/8 for a serial port

I sent my A3000 earlier this year, and it was back in 3 days, but they 
screwed something else up and I had to send it back again, which took 
another 3 days.  All in all it was gone for 1 week.  But I think another 
company had taken over gold service and now that's why its soe bad.

When they contacted me about an extedned warantee, they wanted approx 
$300 for one year. How stupid do they think amiga users are, a brand new 
A3000 is only twice that.



                      ------------------------------



*** Area: AMIGA                                   Date:  6 Nov 93  1:36:37
*** From: Jonathan Gapen (1:121/6.11)
*** To  : All
*** Subj: Doom not spoken here

   Okay all you naysayers of the echo,  I have four words for you:

   SIERRA'S BACK IN TOWN!

Yes,  we will see King's Quest VI on our AGA Amigas!  Of course,  if you
get Amiga World,  you probably have read that by now.  That,  and an AGA 
Wing Commander.  *Maybe* an AGA Day of the Tentacle from LucasArts.

KQ VI won't be another cheap Sierra port,  oh no,  it'll be done by
Revolution Software of England.  Sounds great,  doesn't it?

Amiga World lists 50 AGA games that are under way or out.  They did have 
to stretch a little with some PD and a rumor,  but there's still 50 games 
listed.  The AGA games are really coming now.  Even some of the "big boys" 
are back in the Amiga arena,  so it's not all gloom 'n doom as some people 
are so fond of claiming.

We've got some great,  amazing productivity software coming soon,  great
Amiga games and a fair amount of ports from Clone games.  CD³² is selling
extremely well in Europe,  which could bring even more developers into or 
back to the market.  Commodore plans to advertise,  bringing more 
recognition for the Amiga name.

I suppose you can look at it in two ways.  It's simply that markets change.
You can look at the loss of the old as bad omens or the new potential. I'll
look at the bright side.



                      ------------------------------



*** Area: OMAHA                                   Date:  6 Nov 93  7:40:06
*** From: Clete Baker (1:285/15.69)
*** To  : All
*** Subj: Quote without comment


As many of you know, from time to time I pass along a tidbit
regarding trends in entertainment technology from the trade rags I
receive.  Here's an excerpt from Barry Fox's column in the October
issue of Studio Sound, a British recording industry journal, on the
topic of "confusion in consumer electronics".

Perhaps the only industry-ese which might be unfamiliar to general
readers is the reference to various "color-book" documents.  These
books contain the standards for the various flavors of Compact Disc
data.  The Red Book standard delineated the familiar audio CD.  As
CDs were enhanced with various other types of data, new color-coded
'books' were released delineating those standards; Yellow Book for
CD-ROMs, Orange Book for recordable CD media (either WORM or
rewritable), etc.  Here then is the excerpt (quoted without
permission) verbatim:



To subvert John Donne, 'no industry is an island' -- so if the
consumer electronics companies can spark enthusiasm for new audio and
video formats, consumers will buy more music and movie software.  And
if the consumers spend more money, things look up for the studio
business.  On the other hand, if the new formats fail, then people
will be more likely to spend their spare cash on holidays or video
games.

The recent International Audio and Video Fair in Berlin --
traditional launch pad for new electronics in Europe -- left a clear
and depressing impression: the people selling these new formats are
selling boxes.  They do not understand the technology or the key
issues like compatibility.  Worse still, they do not see how their
ignorance is creating confusion which encourages the buying public to
'wait and see'.

Repeatedly at the Berlin IFA, large companies held press conferences
without having anyone on hand to answer technical questions.  Take
interactive multimedia (the great white hope for home entertainment):
if you set aside the shoot-'em-up games platforms sold, or promised
for sale, by Sega, Nintendo, Commodore and Atari, the field narrows
to CD-I, developed by Philips and supposedly backed by Panasonic, and
3DO, developed in California and most definitely backed by Panasonic.
CD-I is already on sale and 3DO is promised for sale this winter.

The two systems are wholly incompatible, although both players will
play audio CDs, DC+G discs (that have simple graphics buried in the
audio subcodes) and Photo CDs.

There is now a digital video compression standard, MPEG-1, for
putting 74 minutes of full-motion video (FMV) on a CD.  This winter,
Philips will start selling a plug-in MPEG adaptor which allows a CD-I
player play back FMV discs.  3DO promises a similar adaptor.

Philips, Panasonic, Sony and JVC recently agreed [upon] a new White
Book standard for Video CD, or Digital Video CD with MPEG FMV, but
without the control codes which a CD-I player uses to provide full
interactivity.  Video CD is a 'linear' format, like a video tape --
you play it and watch it from start to finish.

Video CD follows the CD-ROM XA 'Bridge' standard, like a Photo CD.
This allows a Video CD to play on a personal computer equipped with
CD-ROM drive and an FMV decoder, or a new generation of Video CD
player which is broadly similar to an audio-only CD player but has a
built-in FMV decoder.

Because the CD is a ROM XA disc, it has a Yellow Book data flag in
the bit stream.  This flag will (or should) mute all the outputs of
an audio-only CD player to prevent speaker damage.  This kills the
idea of using an add-on FMV decoder to make Video CDs play back on a
conventional CD player equipped with a digital output.

[CD manufacturer and research leader] Nimbus have suggested that this
problem can be solved very simply, by making the Video CD follow the
Red Book standard -- not have a data flag -- but this would stop the
Video CD playing on a CD-I player or ROM drive, as both are designed
to treat any Red Book disc as a music disc.  These machines would try
to decode the FMV data on an unflagged Video CD as audio data -- and
fail.

Also, the White Book now specifies control codes for VCR-like
functions such as fast search and freeze-frame.  Consequently, the
FMV decoder must feed control signals back to the CD player drive.
There is no input for these control signals on any existing
audio-only CD player.

Words cannot describe the confusion which has swept the audio and
video world over this scenario.  And it all stems from the clumsy
wording of a joint statement put out in late June by Philips, JVC,
Sony and Matsushita (parent of Panasonic).  This statement on the
White Book promised playback of Video CDs on "modified CD players
(with a digital data output) with an add-on Video CD box".

What was meant was that there will be a future generation of audio CD
players, built slightly differently, to play either Red Book audio
CDs or Yellow Book Video CDs when connected by a digital output to a
video decoder.  What people very reasonably understood it to say was
that Video CDs will play on existing Red Book audio-only CD players
that already have a digital output and which may be connected to an
add-on video decoder.

Confusion has piled on top of confusion.  Just as we thought
everything would finally be clarified by statements to be made in
Berlin, the same four companies put out another statement which
repeated the error, this time without even the word "modified":

It read: "Video CD discs can be played on... CD players (with a
digital data output) with an add-on Video CD adaptor".

The bottom line, which the four largest electronics companies in the
world seem incapable of drawing is that there will be at least two
types of FMV CD.  One will be a CD-I/FMV disc which plays back with
full interactivity on CD-I players when equipped with an FMV decoder.
These discs will not play on other players.  The other version will
be a White Book linear digital video CD; this will have very limited
interactivity but will play on CD-I players with FMV adaptors, on
personal computers with CD-ROM drives and FMV adaptors and on a new
generation of Linear Video CD player which will work with both Red
Book audio CDs and White Book Video CDs.