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View the documentMailBITS/28-Sep-98
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MailBITS/28-Sep-98

Graphics Accelerator Trojan Horse -- An extension posted to the Info-Mac Archive on 25-Sep-98 has been identified as a destructive Trojan Horse/virus combination. The Graphics Accelerator extension purports to speed up graphics programs running on PowerPC-based Macs. Instead, it corrupts applications (and thus many control panels and background applications in the Extensions folder) and writes viral code to them. Even if you remove the Graphics Accelerator extension, the next time an infected application launches, it will replace the extension. As a workaround, delete the extension then create an empty folder with the same name to prevent the virus from replicating. (Note that the first character in the file name before "Graphics Accelerator" is the non-printing character ASCII 1, which often appears as a square box; you can create this character in SimpleText and many other editors by pressing Control-A.) You must reinstall infected applications from scratch or restore them from backup copies (see Adam's recent article series on backups). The Info-Mac moderators have removed Graphics Accelerator from main Info-Mac Archive, but it may still be available on some Info-Mac mirrors until their next update. Although all Info-Mac files are scanned for viruses, the number of submissions prevents the moderators from launching or installing all of them. As of this writing, no antivirus packages detect this virus. [JLC]

<http://db.tidbits.com/getbits.acgi?tbser=1041>

Digital River Sponsoring TidBITS -- We're pleased to welcome our latest sponsor, Digital River. For the most part, Digital River keeps a low profile, because they're in the business of helping companies sell electronic versions of software that can be sold online and downloaded, rather than being distributed via on physical media in shrinkwrapped boxes. Digital River provides technology and services to more than 1,300 software publishers and over 500 retailers operating online software stores. The upshot of this sponsorship for TidBITS readers will be exclusive deals - sometimes great deals - on downloadable software from well-known Macintosh companies like Aladdin Systems and FWB Software. For instance, this week Digital River has a deal on the venerable CanOpener utility (it opens any file, which is great for recovering data from damaged files or peeking into files you can't otherwise open) from Abbott Systems for $49.95, $15.05 off the normal price of $65. We hope you find the deals attractive, and we're happy to have Digital River providing them for everyone's benefit. [ACE]

<http://www.digitalriver.com/>

Illustrator 8.0 Draws Upon New Features -- Adobe released Illustrator 8.0 today, boosting its stalwart drawing program with a number of new features and interoperability enhancements. Further blending the fields of vector-based drawing and simulated natural media, Illustrator's new Gradient Mesh feature offers the capability to create and edit gradients with several colors and blending directions. Other features are geared toward streamlining Illustrator's workflow. The Pencil tool enables you to edit paths by drawing the changes (instead of placing and editing path points); the new Actions palette, a feature borrowed from Photoshop, enables you to automate repetitive tasks; and the Eyedropper tool now picks up type attributes, as well as colors. System requirements include a PowerPC-based Macintosh, Mac OS 7.5 or later (Mac OS 8 recommended), and at least 32 MB of RAM (64 MB recommended) with 20 MB available for Illustrator. Illustrator 8.0 retails for $375; upgrades from previous versions cost $129 and owners of other Adobe products or competing programs (such as CorelDRAW or Macromedia FreeHand) can buy Illustrator 8.0 for $199. Canadian and U.S. owners who purchased Illustrator 7.0 after 23-Jul-98 can receive the upgrade for the cost of shipping and handling (a valid proof of purchase is required). Kudos to Adobe for releasing the Macintosh and Windows versions simultaneously. [JLC]

<http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/illustrator/main.html>

Free WebSTAR 2.1.1 Update from StarNine -- Although the current version of StarNine's widely used Mac OS Web server is 3.0.1, StarNine has held to its promise to release a free bug-fix update for WebSTAR 2.x customers. WebSTAR 2.1.1 includes enhancements to WebSTAR's data cache and directory indexer, plus fixes for Open Transport memory leaks on PowerPC machines and extensive improvements to WebSTAR's server-side include (SSI) plug-in. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully when updating an existing WebSTAR 2.x setup; you may have to revert to a clean WebSTAR 2.x installation if you've modified your server application or support files. The 6.9 MB updater will update any version of WebSTAR 2.x or WebSTAR/SSL 2.x to version 2.1.1; a 6.5 MB WebSTAR 2.1.1 installer is also available, although it does not include an SSL version of WebSTAR. Although StarNine is obviously focussed on promoting WebSTAR 3.0.1 (and is currently giving away free copies of GoLive CyberStudio 3 Personal Edition with WebSTAR 3), it's great to see a company supporting its customers by releasing updates for previous versions of its products. [GD]

<http://www.starnine.com/webstar/webstarupdates.html>
<ftp://ftp.starnine.com/pub/updates/webstar/webstar211updater.sea.hqx>
<ftp://ftp.starnine.com/pub/updates/webstar/webstar211installer.sea.hqx>
<http://www.golive.com/>