Feeds

Nasty hybrid virus gift unwraps on Xmas day

Kriz virus/ bymer worm party bundle

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A mutation of a dangerous virus could render the computers of infected users inoperable this Christmas.

The hybrid virus has the capacity to wipe hard drives and attempt to wipe a computer's BIOS chip on its trigger date - Christmas Day.

On 25 December, the virus will attempt to flash the BIOS of a computer, preventing boot up and in most cases requiring a user to replace hardware. The virus will also begin overwriting files on all available drives and modify the critical operating system file, KERNEL32.DLL.

The virus/worm mutation combines the destructive payload of the Kriz virus with the highly infectious bymer worm. Both pieces of malicious code have been known about for some time with Kriz first appearing in August 1999. Protection from both of them is available from antivirus vendors - it is the combination of the two into a hybrid that is causing particular concern.

Andre Post, a researcher at Symantec's AntiVirus Research Centre, said: "A hybrid can be created when a virus attacks a computer that is already infected with another virus or worm. The result is usually a combination of the worst characteristics of the 'parents'."

Kriz itself is a slow-spreading virus, which infects Portable Executable (PE) Windows files, with a destructive payload similar to the CIH (or Chernobyl) virus, and bymer is a rapidly-spreading but benign worm. Together they make a hybrid which is both destructive and infectious.

Its not the first time hybrid malicious code has been created. Earlier this year, Symantec reported a hybrid of bymer with the FunLove virus.

Symantec has made a free detection and repair tool available here. Users are also advised to update their antivirus software with the latest virus definition files, which will detect the hybrid. ®

Related stories

Virus writers and cracker love-in
Viruses prey on porn lovers

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Whistling Google: PLEASE! Brussels can only hurt Europe, not us
And Commish is VERY pro-Google. Why should we worry?
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash
Lovely presentations... but not on your Flash-hating mobe
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.