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90s retro virus spreads over physical media

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A "retro" virus which spreads by floppy disks and CD-ROMs is spreading (modestly) across Scandinavia.

Bacros replicates by using floppy disks and CD-ROMs - a throwback to the virus propagation techniques of the 1990s. This illustrates its marked difference from the latest generation of email, file sharing or network exploit-based worms. However some things don't change: Bacros infects Windows PCs only.

Bacros, first spotted a month ago, copies itself to all floppy disks it sees. It also attempts to burn itself to CD-R disks (complete with an AUTORUN file, which will run the virus when the CD-R is inserted to another machine). Unlike current worms - which often try to surreptitiously take over user's machines, Bacros carries a destructive payload.

The virus overwrites any GIF image files it finds on infected PC with an image that says "KUOLE JEHOVA" ("Die Jehovah" in Finnish). On Christmas Day, Bacros attempts to delete all the files on an infected PC's hard disk.

In addition to spreading on physical media, the virus also works as a companion virus, attacking TXT files. For example, when the virus finds a file called README.TXT, it will make that file hidden and drop a new file called README.EXE in the same directory. Bacros is not widespread, but it is "spreading in a low-key way", according to F-Secure spokesman, the Finnish anti-virus firm. ®

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