Old school virus promises expensive Christmas

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A novel virus with the capacity to delete entire hard drives has been unleashed. The virus, spread via floppy disk and CD-ROM, performs its destructive action on Christmas day.

Known as Bacros, it utilises an offline approach not seen for some time: infecting removeable media. Also, text files are replaced with infected executables. But despite its destructive nature Bacros is being treated as merely an amusement by the virus-fighting industry who regard it as offering only a limited threat.

"We haven't had any significant reports of the virus spreading and we don't expect any," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

Oddly, infected gif files will be changed to images showing the Finnish words for "Kill Jehovah". Victims can also expect the appearance of a Finnish national flag desktop background on 6 December - Finnish independence day.

The virus, with the capability to be very dangerous but unlikely to spread very far, does show a potential opportunity for virus writers. "It may be only a curiosity but it does highlight the need for virus protection that goes further than just email," said Cluley.

Bacros description: F-secure

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