When I wrote about New Year’s Eve news on marginal and half-forgotten computer platforms, as many as 75% were somehow connected to the Amiga. I thought it was nice how much the Amigis had shared under the tree, and that every basically fan development (albeit commercial) was certainly deserving. However, during my regular daily reading of RSS feeds from the third world (1st PC, 2nd Mac, 3rd others), I came across a mention that forced me to change this view: in 2020, several new viruses were detected for the Amiga.
On the website of the Danish Virus Help Team, which has been dealing with virus mapping on this platform since 1994 and maintains a fairly comprehensive virus encyclopedia, I have mentioned at least two:
One kilobyte large virus that spreads through a bootblock infection. If there is space on the floppy disk (yes, we are on a platform where a kilobyte is space, not a rounding error), it is copied to it, including a copy of the original bootblock. When you start your computer from this disk, its boot code executes the code of the original block, so everything looks as if nothing is happening to the user.
However, it remains in memory, infects other floppy disks (checks if they no longer happen to be on them) and occasionally displays a logo in the form of a skull and the word Game Over. The bootblock checksum changes with each mutation, so it is not possible to identify it by it alone.
While the first virus was detected last December and I did not read the date of its origin (it is hypothetically possible that it is something older that simply did not spread in time), the second virus was detected and created in 2020, as evidenced by a report leaves behind in the bootblock:
The compromised archive through which it spreads originates in Serbia and, in addition to the virus multiplying on more and more disks and occasionally writing text at boot
I AM JEREMY. YOUR FRIEND! it also causes the checksum of the entire floppy disk to become corrupted, so it may be unreadable.
No, don’t worry, I will no longer supply you with news from this area. As I read them, I just remembered a time when similar pastimes were a matter for other platforms. Today, some bootblock / boot sector viruses on a PC or Mac are unwarranted and the software is completely different. Twenty-five years ago, when I accidentally brought Pojer on a floppy disk into the school lab, it was fun!
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