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