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Computer Viruses

sleepy@wybbs.UUCP (Mike Faber)
(original, computer, smirk)

This is Original, but some friends helped a little

The Surgeon General's Report on AIDS

(All Internal Destruction Subprograms)

The Surgeon General's office report a computer virus of epidemic proportions growing in the computing community. These viruses are deadly and there is no known single cure for all of the strains. The virus attacks the computer where it has the least defense: the operating system. Then it slowly destroys the system by slowly eliminating small portions of data. The original strain has been shown to be suppressed by the program AZT (Anti-Zealous program Terminator), but the product may be over-marketed, and less effective than promised. Additional strains have shown little effect when exposed to this program. A virus may be contained in a disk or memory for long periods of time before showing any of the effects. Some are time triggered to go off at certain times (Columbus day, Fri 13, Halloween, etc.) but all viruses seem to have some effect on all of its victims.

Some users and computers are at greater risk than others. Those computers that communicate with their own kind (homocommunals) are the apparent target of many viruses, although the virus can be communicated to other computer types, as well. Those computers using DOS seem to have the highest concentration of the virus, compared to non-DOS machines. Data recovery experts are often exposed to viruses by accidentally putting their own disk into an infected computer, or having an infected disk used on their own systems. These experts should take extreme care in working in these environments so they will not contract the disease. Virus hunters have much the same risk.

The Surgeon General's office recommends the following measures to the US Government and its citizens:

1) Don't do DOS. If you MUST, don't share your disks, or at least use a cleansing program on those disks before using them.

2) Do NOT copy programs from another computer, or if you must, try to only copy programs with another or a small, closed group that has been tested for the virus, and do NOT have it. There must be NO outside input into this group, or the whole group may be exposed.

3) Avoid BBS's and Software pools known to carry illegal or high risk programs that have been uploaded and downloaded. Especially those that require payment for copy privileges.

4) Also, we should regulate and heavily test all Public Domain programs and distributors and recovery specialists for signs of the viruses. These are especially at risk since they draw programs from those who don't know that they have the virus, or those that don't know that it is contagious.

The Surgeon General's office feels that these precautions will curtail the spread and magnitude of the disease, if the public is willing to act now. Soon, everybody in the nation will know someone with the virus, and you may have to work next to a computer that has it.

C. Chicken Coop

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