V.I.R.U.S. Weekly - January 14, 1994

A weekly digest of virus and related news, V.I.R.U.S. Weekly BBS feed and

newsletter is prepared by the Vancouver Institute for Research into User

Security.  For those without online service feeds, both V.I.R.U.S. Weekly and

Monthly are available in hardcopy.  For more information contact Robert Slade

or CyberStore.

copyright 1993, Robert M. Slade

Other columns this week:

8    3.3 Local reports

9    Watchdog Armor card by Fischer


It's quiet out there ...

Too quiet ...


Talk viri til the cows come home

The Virus Bulletin Conference will be back on Jersey in the Channel Islands

this year, September 8th and 9th.  For the first time the show will feature an

exhibition of antiviral software and hardware.  For more information, contact



Listen ... the drums have stopped ...

No VIRUS-L for the past two weeks.

That's FDISK, not FORMAT ...

Recently someone posted a query about a boot sector infector, and ended up by

saying that the "FORMAT /MBR" command didn't help.  I should think not.  The

*FDISK* command is the one that will help rebuild the partition table.  The

/MBR switch is only valid for MS-DOS 5.0 and later versions.  FORMAT is *never*

an antiviral measure ... 

Thoughts on security

David Chess, of IBM's HICL virus research crew, has expressed an interesting

thought with regard to the battle over operating system security.  The PC is

not an insecure platform, as some mainframe devotees would have you believe. 

The only way to subvert a PC, is to sneak in and use it when the owner isn't

around, or to convince the owner to run a malicious program or a descendant

thereof.  And yet, it seems to work just fine ...

A virus that's out of this world

A poster to the RISKS-FORUM Digest is concerned about the SETI (Search for

Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) program.  Slightly misunderstanding the concept

of a Turing machine being capable of any of the functions that a computer might

be, he postulates an alien computer virus capable of infecting all of earth's

computers.  If they are intelligent enough to contact us, they probably don't

have MS-DOS or Macs ...

Cooking with gas ... or maybe hot air

Jeff Cook doesn't seem to realize yet the monster he has created.  His flame

war with Bill Lambdin on VIRUS_INFO over Bill's scanner tests has drawn in a

number of posters and appears to have doubled the traffic on the echo.  A total

waste of bandwidth: Bill and Franz have come to at least a reasonable state of

disagreement in a semi-private discussion list while Jeff calls ineffectually

for more on-topic posts on Fidonet.


Vancouver      ROBERTS@decus.ca    | "90% of infections

Institute for  Robert_Slade@sfu.ca |  are Stoned."

Research into  rslade@cue.bc.ca    | 

User           p1@CyberStore.ca    |      - the viral corollary

Security       Canada V7K 2G6      |        to Sturgeon's Law