Last week's widely reported Windows Vista virus was not, in fact, a virus that targets Vista but was instead a virus that targets Microsoft Scripting Host (code-named Monad), an object-oriented, Microsoft .NET-based command-line environment. And although Microsoft Scripting Host might be installable on Vista Beta 1, the environment doesn't come with Beta 1 and won't appear in future betas or the final release, Microsoft says. Furthermore, the new Vista security subsystem isn't even enabled in Beta 1.
Thus, there's no Vista virus. Sorry, conspiracy fans.
"\[Microsoft Scripting Host\] is not included in the beta release of Windows Vista or in Windows Server 2003 R2 ... \[and it\] will not be included in the final version of Windows Vista," Stephen Toulouse, a program manager in Microsoft's security group, wrote in a recent blog posting. "So these potential viruses do not affect Windows Vista ... and pose no risk for Microsoft customers. The viruses do not attempt to exploit a software vulnerability and do not encompass a new method of attack. Furthermore, \[Microsoft Scripting Host\] is not widely available for general use. It's a beta, and we do not recommend or support the use of beta software in a production environment."
Although I'm sure that the gleeful Macintosh fan sites that ate up the Vista virus stories will be equally expedient in covering the truth, I have to wonder about the mainstream media, which was equally ravenous about covering this story. Even F-Secure, a widely trusted security company, covered the alleged virus. There's no Vista virus, folks. Anyone care to write about it?