Virus in Win98 beats OS shipping date

The first virus specifically written for Microsoft Windows 98 is shipping and available before the operating system itself: Windows 98 ships on Thursday. HPS (Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome) is a 32-bit polymorphic Windows virus that only activates when the infected system is booted on a Saturday. The Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome for which the virus is named is a biological disease transmitted by rodents. Its principal symptom is an acute respiratory crisis.

The first virus specifically written for Microsoft Windows 98 is shipping and available before the operating system itself: Windows 98 ships on Thursday.

HPS (Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome) is a 32-bit polymorphic Windows virus that only activates when the infected system is booted on a Saturday.

The Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome for which the virus is named is a biological disease transmitted by rodents. Its principal symptom is an acute respiratory crisis.

If activated, the computer virus flips any uncompressed bitmaps horizontally, only on Saturdays. This produces a "mirror" effect for many of the screens used within the Windows operating system, according to Virus Bulletin, the Oxfordshire, England-based technical journal that tracks viruses.

The virus was authored by GriYo, who is referred to as a "notorious member" of the 29A virus-writing group, and is credited with writing the complex Implant virus, according to Virus Bulletin.

GriYo did make the virus backward-compatible, though, so Windows 95 users need not upgrade to the new OS to experience the same effects.

Panda Software, based in Spain, has already added protection for this virus into its anti-virus software.

According to a Symantec representative, the company is awaiting its sample of the virus and said all anti-virus companies would be adding protection for this virus to their libraries shortly.

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