The Monday, February 5, 1996 edition of the Courier Mail had this to say:
AUSTRALIAN computer hackers have brought computer giant Microsoft's
vaunted Windows 95 program to its virtual knees.
The first virus created specifically for the operating system has
reared its head in Britain - and Australia has been fingered as the
More than 500,000 people in Australia use Windows 95 - the replacement
for the venerated Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS - and more make the switch
every day as new software is designed for the system.
Windows 95 was the fastest-selling software ever released, but its
popularity could be a danger as new viruses are designed specifically
The virus is a serious threat to users because virus protection
software normally detects only known viruses.
The new virus - named Boza - was discovered by a British software
company - and corrupts computer programs so they no longer function.
Once infected, the system puts a message on the screen which reads:
"The taste of fame just got tastier.
"VLAD Australia does it again with the world's first Win95 virus."
Windows 95 was launched in a blaze of publicity last August.
Microsoft, headed by the multi-billionaire Bill Gates, one of the
richest men in the world, spent more than $200 million worldwide to
The Boza virus is a sharp blow to Windows 95's prestige, because the
program was specifically designed to make computer use easy.
Microsoft is still trying to push the system after initial sales
Users were reluctant to switch from the tried and true Windows 3.1,
even though 95 was a quantum leap in usability.
Initial predictions were that more than 30 million copies - each
costing $159 - were expected to be sold last year alone.
Boza is a parasitic virus which attaches itself to existing programs
and, while they run, makes copies of itself which are then attached to
The virus can spead to other machines via a network connection or
The man who discovered the virus, Oxfordshire computer analyst Paul
Duckin, said Boza would probably go down in history.
"It's the first that we've seen that affects Windows 95 programs in
particular," he said.
Mr Duckin said Boza's creators were assumed to be Australian and had
clearly targeted the new Microsoft system.
More than 10 million computer users in Britain use Windows 95 and are
under threat from the virus.
However, Mr Duckin said experts were taking some small comfort from
the fact that Boza was not especially easy to spread.
"If you run a program that's infected with Boza, then it will infect
up to three more programs," he said.
"But to infect someone else's machine, you would have to give them an
infected program, and they would have to run it.
"Most people don't swap programs around like that."
Thanks to Hellfire for grabbing the rest of this information for us.
REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)
has learned that the Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 95 operating system is the
target of a new computer virus, called the "Boza" virus. The virus is not
contained within the Windows 95 product. Although the virus is not
widespread, users of Windows 95 should be aware that they might encounter
it by downloading and running an infected program from the Internet, an
electronic bulletin board or online service, or by running a program from
a floppy disk containing the virus. To mitigate the spread of the virus,
Microsoft is working closely with anti-virus software vendors such as
Symantec Corp. and McAfee Associates to provide protection as soon as
possible. McAfee has posted an anti-virus update to address this virus,
and Symantec will do so shortly.
Running an infected program can infect up to three 32-bit Windows- based
applications in the current directory. When an infected program is
executed, it may display a dialog box with a message from the authors
of the virus. Apparently the virus copies itself to other programs only
to display its message. As with any virus, Microsoft suggests that customers
take the following steps: Do not run unknown programs that are downloaded or
copied from a floppy disk. If unknown files have been executed on the
machine or if the user is unsure, obtain a current virus scanner from an
anti-virus software vendor and check the system periodically for infections.
Microsoft and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of
Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
CO: Microsoft Corp.
LONDON, Feb 3 (Reuter) - A British software company has found the first
virus specifically designed to infect Microsoft Corp's Windows 95
operating system, a Sunday newspaper reported.
The virus, called "Boza," corrupts progammes so they no longer work
properly, the Independent on Sunday reported. It occasionally throws
up a message reading: "The taste of fame just got tastier. VLAD
Australia does it again with the world's first Win95 virus," the
newspaper said. The report did not explain what the message meant.
"It's the first that we've seen that affects Windows 95 programmes in
particular," Paul Ducklin, an analyst for Abingdon, England-based
software company Sophos. Computer viruses spread when a user inserts
an "infected" disk, or downloads infected programmes over a telephone
Windows 95, launched in a blaze of publicity last August, is the
fastest-selling computer programme ever, with an estimated 10 million users.
Free Norton AntiVirus Update Will Be Available on Symantec's BBS and FTP
Web Sites, CompuServe, America Online, and Microsoft Network
CUPERTINO, Calif., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Symantec Corporation
(Nasdaq: SYMC), the world's leading supplier of anti-virus software,
today announced that it will provide a virus definition update to detect
the first Windows 95 virus, preliminarily dubbed Boza (alias Bizatch).
Symantec's Boza update will provide detection for end-users and
corporate IS managers with Norton AntiVirus for Windows 95, Norton
AntiVirus for NetWare, Norton AntiVirus Scanner for NT, and Norton
AntiVirus for DOS and Windows. The update will be available by Friday,
February 9 free on Symantec's BBS and FTP & Web Sites, CompuServe,
America Online, and Microsoft Network.
The Boza virus, originating in Australia, is the first Windows 95
virus. The Boza virus targets Windows 95, 32-bit executable files
exclusively and is not expected to affect DOS, Windows 3.x, or Windows
NT files. In addition, the Boza virus cannot be transmitted through
document files. Like the majority of computer viruses, it can be
transmitted via the Internet and floppy disks.
At this time, the virus is not in circulation and no Symantec
customers have reported infection. Symantec AntiVirus Research Center
(SARC) experts don't expect widespread distribution of this virus due to
the immediate response by the anti-virus community. "The Boza virus is
the first Windows 95, 32-bit virus that's been developed," said Germaine
Ward, director of product management, Norton AntiVirus Group.
"Comprehensive virus protection is critical for Windows 95 users.
Symantec has developed Boza detection and is working on a repair to
provide a complete solution to the virus. In addition, it is important
to note that users of all operating systems are vulnerable to viruses.
Norton AntiVirus provides the most complete virus protection available,
including detection and repair of the Word Macro viruses, which are
tremendously prolific," she added.
Update files will be available free for download from the following
Symantec BBS (541) 984-5366 (300, 1200, 2400 baud)
(541) 484-6669 (9600, 14400 baud)
Symantec's FTP site ftp.symantec.com
Symantec's Web site www.symantec.com
CompuServe GO SYMANTEC
America Online SYMANTEC
Microsoft Network SYM-NAV95
Symantec's anti-virus products are backed by an unsurpassed range of
virus information and update services. Users can access the Symantec
AntiVirus Reference Center on Symantec's web site to obtain up-to-date
information on the Boza and other viruses and virus protection. This
area also contains the latest virus definitions for all Symantec
anti-virus products, which are updated every month.
Additional virus information and update services include: The Virus
Hotline (541) 9-VIRUS-9; downloadable virus definitions from the
Symantec BBS, the Symantec FTP and Web sites on the Internet,
CompuServe, America Online and the Microsoft Network; and a monthly
Virus Definition Disk Service (800) 343-4717 ext. 756. In addition, a
quarterly virus definition subscription service, the Norton AntiVirus
Subscription Service, is available for an annual fee of $39.95 plus tax.
Symantec Corporation develops, markets and supports a complete line
of application and system software products designed to enhance
individual and workgroup productivity as well as manage networked
computing environments. Platforms supported include IBM personal
computers and compatibles, Apple Macintosh computers as well as all
major network operating systems. Founded in 1982, the company has
offices in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Europe.
Information on the company and its products can be obtained by calling
(800) 441-7234 toll free, or (541) 334-6054.
NOTE: Brands and products referenced herein are the trademarks or
registered trademarks of their respective holders.
CO: Symantec Corp.
BURLINGTON, Mass., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ --
Anti-virus software vendor S&S Software International Inc., maker of
DR. SOLOMON'S ANTI-VIRUS TOOLKIT, is posting a "fix" that detects and
removes "Boza," the first computer virus to target Windows 95.
"There is no reason for users to panic," said Dr. Alan Solomon, founder
of S&S and leader of the company's anti-virus research team.
"Users are not likely to encounter Boza, because it is `not in the wild,'
spreading from computer to computer." said Solomon. "Media reports that
this virus is `deadly' or `lethal' are completely inaccurate, recalling
the great Michelangelo scare of 1992. Boza is just one of the 150 to 200
new viruses that the anti-virus research team at S&S sees each month. It's
interesting to anti-virus experts, but is not a threat to users."
To allay concern, as it normally does when any new virus is spotted, S&S is
updating the TOOLKIT to automatically protect users from Boza. The company
is also posting online a "fix" that updates the TOOLKIT to detect Boza.
TOOLKIT users may download the file "EXTRA.DRV" via the Internet
(www.drsolomon.com) and via CompuServe (GO DRSOLOMON). "Boza" is the first
computer virus written specifically to infect Windows 95. It was named
after a "muddy and disgusting-tasting Bulgarian drink."
"There are many existing DOS and Windows 3.x viruses that work under
Windows 95," said Solomon. "They pose more of a threat than Boza."
Boza attempts to infect up to three *.EXE files in the current directory.
These program files must include Win32 "portable executable" headers that
are used by applications that operate under both Windows 95 and Windows NT.
Infected programs sometimes increase in size by 3,192 bytes, and the last
modified date and time changes to the date and time of infection.
The virus appears to partly disable applications designed to run under
both Windows 95 and Windows NT. For example, when infected, Netscape 2.0
beta 6, the 32-bit version of Netscape designed to run under both
Windows 95 and Windows NT, ceases to function under Windows NT but
continues to run under Windows 95.
When tested by S&S, several other infected hybrid applications designed
for both Windows 95 and Windows NT continued to run under Windows 3.x but
failed to run under Windows NT, generating an error message: "Not a
valid NT program."
If executables are "read only," the infection fails. Read-only programs
are protected against this virus.
Boza does not become resident in memory, which seriously reduces its
ability to spread into the wild.
Also, it does not carry a destructive payload.
Boza comes from Australia and randomly displays a dialog box that
cites VLAD Australia. VLAD Australia is a group of virus writers
that have in the past distributed an underground electronic newsletter
with virus-writing tips, sources and examples via the Internet,
electronic bulletin boards and online services.
"DR. SOLOMON'S ANTI-VIRUS TOOLKIT" is the leading European anti- virus
software, with nearly 3 million users worldwide.
The company's anti-virus research team identifies 150 to 200
new viruses each month.
The TOOLKIT detects, identifies and safely repairs the damage caused
by more than 7,700 file, Master Boot Record and boot-sector viruses,
including the most complex encrypted and polymorphic viruses.
Versions of the TOOLKIT are available for Windows 3.x, Windows 95,
Windows NT, NetWare, OS/2, SCO UNIX, Macintosh and MS/PC-DOS.
S&S Software International Inc. is a worldwide corporation with U.S.
offices in Burlington, Mass., and Los Angeles. The company has offices
and authorized distributors in more than 70 countries around the world.
Founded in 1984 by Dr. Alan Solomon, the company specializes in
security and networking products for IBM-compatible systems.
CO: S&S Software International Inc.
ST: Massachusetts, California
- VLAD #6 INDEX -