Vista attacked by 13-year-old virus

A batch of laptops pre-installed with Windows Vista Home Premium was found to have been infected with a 13-year-old boot sector virus.Those of you with a long memory will vividly recall the year 1994: Nirvana's lead singer Kurt Cobain died, South Africa held its first multi-racial elections, and Tony Blair became leader of the Labour party. Oh, and Microsoft's operating system was the quaint, pre-NT Windows for Workgroups.

But it was a year that also saw the arrival of a boot sector computer virus known as Stoned.Angelina which moved the original master boot record to cylinder 0, head 0, sector 9.It would appear that this teenage virus has not yet been consigned to the history books.

According to Virus Bulletin, the consignment of infected Medion laptops – which could number anything up to 100,000 shipments – had been sold in Danish and German branches of retail giant Aldi.The computers had been loaded with Microsoft's latest operating system Vista and
Bullguard's anti-virus software, which failed to detect and remove the malware.

Although the infection itself is harmless, Stoned.Angelina will undoubtedly have left Microsoft and Bullguard execs blushing with embarrassment about the apparent flaws in their software which allowed an ancient virus to slip through the back door.

On its website Bullguard offered some reassurance to Medion customers hit by the virus:

"Stoned.Angelina is a low-risk boot virus that infects the MBR (Master Boot Record) of hard disks. This is a very old virus. Apart from its ability to spread from computer to computer, it carries no payload (damage) to the systems it infects."

Asked if this means we could see a resurgence of old viruses attacking new operating systems, Verduign said: "This is not so much a wake-up call but more a reminder" and added that it would be impossible to ever "completely eradicate a virus."

News source: El Reg

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43 Comments

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1) Yes there is not an AV or OS in the world that can protect against a MBR virus that is preloaded off of a floppy or usb drive, however there are BIOS out there that can protect you against some of these things. If anything it would be the failure of the BIOS.

2) Do I think old Viruses might be capable of damaging in Vista? Certainly, it happened with XP and microsofts own image format.

i have one word - theregister
need i say anymore..... just like slashdot.........
Always spinning something to make another company look wrong
In this case its not micrsofts fault or vistas fault its the OEM laptop maker who loads the laptops with the images

The mere fact that this is Vista is pointless - who cares. The anti-virus on the computer should have caught it.

It doesn't really matter what operating system is on a computer - if it has a virus and there is no anti-virus or old definitions for the anti-virus on the machine, it's still an infected machine. The fact that Vista was mentioned was just because of another fanboi hating Microsoft. I'm not a fan myself, but yes, the title is just... well, flawed.

LOL, why would anyone buy a laptop from Aldi?

Have you never seen there stuff? Their computers always use very good quality branded components (i've seen em, i've read the spec sheet, and was pretty well stunned) and any stuff they sell like garage accessories for working on cars, etc are all german TUV approved. If something is TUV approved, it aint bad at all.

Don't dismiss them when you know nothing about them!

Oh, and Microsoft's operating system was the quaint, pre-NT Windows for Workgroups.

Windows NT 3.1 came out a year earlier actually.

this has NOTHING to do with vista... a MBR virus will affect ANY os... all you do is write it to the first sector of the first track... thats the first thing BIOS reads on boot... the OS isn't even loaded at this point!...

how is a bootsector virus slipping through the production process the fault of microsoft, vista or bullguard? :S

of course a boot sector virus like this could just as well on a 98, xp, OS or Linux computers. And it was most definately infected through the image used to clone thlaptops, since... when was the last time you saw alaptop with a floppy drive ?

Hi,

The main issues here are the lack of quality control shown by Medion when building their laptops.

Normally Medion equipment is fairly good quality so this is something of a surprise.

The other issue is the Bullguard antivirus package which from experience is even worse than Mcafee or even Symantec/Norton products.

It does not surprise me that this package fails to detect an older virus.

I wonder how many Antivirus packages would have detected this virus?

Kind Regards

Simon


PsiMoon314 said,
I wonder how many Antivirus packages would have detected this virus?

Kind Regards

Simon

My thoughts exactly and why I speculated it was intentionally done by a disgruntled employee with a CD archive of viruses which he scanned to determine which were detected and which were not and then chose one of the undetected viruses to distribute through a master installation image.

Oh good grief. Anyone with knowledge of a Virus from this type would realize it would only spread before the OS is loaded. Generally it would be on an infected floppy, and the user would accidentally leave the infected floppy in the computer when it booted. The virus would have to be put in place before the computer had Vista even loaded. It says nothing about the OS in question. People now are just too spoiled to network based virus's and blaming the OS.

Hahaha... I wonder if The Register planned another, much funnier, title first, because the URL to the story is different: "Vista hit by stoned Angelina".

Wonder who put it on the master image to begin with... certainly a disgruntled employee with a CD full of legacy viruses looking to cause a little agony. It is amusing though but an old virus, and very few modern ones, have the ability to propagate to 100,000 units in the wild.

That's probably how it went down. The key thing here to remember is that, although it's there, it can't do anything aside from try and spread to another PC. The other key here is that the AV that they've installed and use didn't pick it up. That's gotta be a slap to the face, and I think whoever put it on knew about this before hand. Try to spread some bad PR.

besies it's a boot sector virus and 13 year old. mostlu likely it was on the boot sector whee they made the disk image used on the laptops and thus spread that way.

I seriusly doubt a boot sector virus,muchless a 13 year old actually can ifnect Vista, or even 2k/XP.

HawkMan said,
besies it's a boot sector virus and 13 year old. mostlu likely it was on the boot sector whee they made the disk image used on the laptops and thus spread that way.

I seriusly doubt a boot sector virus,muchless a 13 year old actually can ifnect Vista, or even 2k/XP.

you really think they built the image on 13 year old hardware for a machine capable of running vista ??

i think not, but this is too damn funny
what makes me laugh is that the AV compies own software failed to recognise a 13 year old virus