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.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John E. Dunn

Techworld.com
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?