Virus Name: Rhubarb
V Status: New
Isolated: April, 1998
Symptoms: Diskette Boot Sector & MBR altered;
decrease in available free memory;
message displayed & hard disk corruption
Eff Length: N/A
Type Code: BRhX - Resident Boot Sector & MBR Infector
Detection Method: ViruScan, NAVDX, NAV
Removal Instructions: ViruScan
The Rhubarb virus was first discovered in 1996, though the copy
received by the author of VSUM was received in April, 1998. It
is reportedly from Romania. Rhubarb is a memory resident stealth
infector of the system hard disk master boot record (MBR) and
diskette boot sectors. It is a destructive virus.
The first time a system is booted from a Rhubarb infected diskette,
the Rhubarb virus will infect the system hard disk master boot
record and become memory resident.
Once the system hard disk MBR is infected, any subsequent boot
from the system hard disk will result in the virus becoming memory
resident. Total DOS memory will not decrease, though the amount
of available free memory, as indicated by the DOS CHKDSK program
from DOS 5.0, will have decreased by 1,024 bytes.
Once the Rhubarb virus is memory resident, it will infect the
boot sector of non-write protected diskettes when they are
Rhubarb is a stealth virus, and when it is memory resident, it
cannot be detected on the system hard disk or diskettes by
anti-viral programs. These programs determine that the virus
is in memory, and prompt the user to reboot the system from a
clean, write protected diskette. This is required so that the
virus can be detected, and not spread, to other media.
The Rhubarb virus is a destructive virus, activating on December
17th of any year, when the system is booted from infected media.
At this time, the virus will display the following message and
overwrite the beginning of the system hard drive:
"RP wants to say hello!"
The system will then be unbootable from the system hard drive.
Known variant(s) of Rhubarb are:
Rhubarb.B: Also received in April, 1998, this is a minor
variant of the Rhubarb virus described above.
Origin: Unknown April, 1998.