Users question JPEG virus, McAfee stands firm

Monday, 24 June 2002, 10:26 AM EST

On June 13, McAfee issued a press release about the W32/Perrun virus which is the first virus to infect JPEGs, a type of image file, McAfee said. [See "McAfee: New virus is first to infect image files," June 13.] Perrun, which McAfee received from its author, uses an executable file to infect image files and then tries to spread the infection to other image files in the same directory, according to McAfee. The virus requires the presence of the executable and cannot work without it, McAfee said.

The discovery of the virus could lead to the rearchitecting of antivirus programs, as well as possible mutations that could see the virus executable embedded in image files and on the Web, said Vincent Gullotto, senior director for McAfee AVERT (Anti-Virus Emergency Response Team), at the time.

Since McAfee's original announcement of the virus, users on Web pages and e-mail lists have disputed Gullotto's statement that executable files could be embedded in JPEGs.

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