Virus comes back from dead on German laptops

The virus in question is a boot-sector master boot record (MBR) infector

A virus though to have died out years ago is believed to have infected up to 100,000 laptops during manufacture by German vendor Medion.

The exact number of systems affected by the 'Stoned.Angelina' virus is not known, but the consignment of between 10,000 and 100,000 Medion laptops was destined for sale in Danish and German outlets of European retailing giant Aldi. The company also sells Medion laptops in the U.K.

Luckily, the virus in question is a boot-sector master boot record (MBR) infector, and while it can exist on the hard disk boot sector of the laptops in question, it would need a floppy drive to spread itself to new systems. The laptops ship without floppy drives.

Stoned.Angelina was first seen in January 1994, though it has been recorded in the wild as recently as 2001, about the time the floppy drive died out in common use. It has no payload, and would remain dormant if unable to spread.

The systems concerned are identified by anti-virus vendor Bullguard -- whose anti-virus software is supplied on the Medion PCs -- as being Vista Home Premium systems with the production ID MD96290. Although the virus can't do anything significant to the laptops, affected machines need to download a special removal tool to get rid of it.

It is fortunate that the standard software can identify the virus on infected systems because anyone running the specially-crafted removal tool on systems not infected is warned that they risk causing damage to the machine.

This all begs the question of how the virus got on to some machines in the first. In fact, malware cropping up on factory machines, or in places it might not be expected, has a history so long some malware has started exploiting the principle.

In May the 'SillyFD-AA' worm was found to be targeting removable USB media, in a distant echo of the extinct boot sector infection technique of Stoned.Angelina.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E. Dunn

Techworld.com

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?