More and more significance is attached to the problem of viruses on CDs. Having quickly become popular, this removable storage media became one of the primary ways of spreading viruses. Several incidents were registered when a virus was discovered on the master-disc of a compact disc producer. As a result, the computer market was flooded with relatively large shipments (tens of thousands) of infected discs. Naturally, such carriers could not be disinfected, they can only be destroyed.
At the beginning of the year, two extremely complex polymorphic viruses appeared in the UK: SMEG.Pathogen and SMEG.Queeg – even now, not all antivirus programs are able detect these programs with 100% certainty. The virus writer placed the infected files on BBS boards and caused both an outbreak and a panic in the mass media.
The GoodTimes hoax caused yet another panic. GoodTimes allegedly spread via the Internet and infected computers via email. However, sometime later, an ordinary DOS virus containing the text Good Times appeared and was named GT-Spoof.
Many other unusual viruses appear this year:
- January: Shifter – the first virus to infect OBJ files.
- Phantom1 becomes the first polymorphic virus in Moscow
- April – ScrVir-a family of viruses which infects source code programs in C and Pascal.
- June – OneHalf – a complex and dangerous polymorphic virus causes a significant outbreak: in fact, this virus is still active and can cause real damage to this day.
- September – Zaraza – an MS-DOS file-loading virus caused a significant outbreak by using a unique installation method: the new technique temporarily stumped the antivirus experts.
This year also marked several significant developments in the antivirus field.
In June, one of the leading antivirus vendors was purchased by Symantec, who had already earned a reputation for aquiring other antivirus projects.
AntiViral Toolkit Pro was launched in September. Eugene Kaspersky’s first product immediately won top marks in a series of independent tests conducted by Hamburg University.