Virus-L/comp.virus FAQ: Table of Contents

             Questions answered in this document

Section A:   Sources of Information and Antivirus Software
             (Where can I find HELP?!!)

A1)  What is Virus-L/comp.virus?
A2)  What is the difference between Virus-L and comp.virus?
A3)  How do I get onto or off Virus-L/comp.virus?
A4)  What are the guidelines for Virus-L?
A5)  How can I get back-issues of Virus-L?
A6)  What are the known viruses, their names, major symptoms and
     possible cures?
A7)  Where can I get free or shareware antivirus programs?
A8)  Where can I get more information on viruses, etc?
A9)  Why is so much of the discussion in Virus-L/comp.virus about PCs
     and DOS?  Is this forum only for the PC world?

Section B:   Definitions
             (What is ...?)

B1)  What are computer viruses (and why should I worry about them)?
B2)  What is a Worm?
B3)  What is a Trojan Horse?
B4)  What are the main types of PC viruses?
B5)  What is a stealth virus?
B6)  What is a polymorphic virus?
B7)  What are "fast" and "slow" infectors?
B8)  What is a sparse infector?
B9)  What is a companion virus?
B10) What is an armored virus?
B11) What is a cavity virus?
B12) What is a tunnelling virus?
B13) What is a dropper?
B14) What is an ANSI bomb?
B15) Miscellaneous Jargon and Abbreviations

Section C:   Virus Detection
             (Is my computer infected?  What do I do?)

C1)  What are the symptoms and indications of a virus infection?
C2)  What steps should be taken in diagnosing and identifying viruses?
C3)  What is the best way to remove a virus?
C4)  What does the  virus do?
C5)  What are "false positives" and "false negatives"?
C6)  Can an antivirus program itself be infected?
C7)  Where can I get a virus scanner for my Unix system?
C8)  Why does my scanner report an infection only sometimes?
C9)  I think I have detected a new virus; what do I do?
C10) CHKDSK reports 639K (or less) total memory on my system; am I
C11) I have an infinite loop of sub-directories on my hard drive; am I
C12) Can a PC not running DOS be infected with a common DOS virus?
C13) My hard-disk's file system has been garbled:  Do I have a virus?

Section D:   Protection Plans
             (What should I do to prepare against viruses?)

D1)  What is the best antivirus program?
D2)  Is it possible to protect a computer system with only software?
D3)  Is it possible to write-protect the hard disk with software only?
D4)  What can be done with hardware protection?
D5)  Does setting a file's attributes to READ ONLY protect it from
D6)  Do password/access control systems protect my files from viruses?
D7)  Do the protection systems in DR DOS work against viruses?
D8)  Does a write-protect tab on a floppy disk stop viruses?
D9)  Do local area networks (LANs) help to stop viruses or do they
     facilitate their spread?
D10) What is the proper way to make backups?

Section E:   Facts and Fibs About Computer Viruses
             (Can a virus...?)

E1)  Can boot sector viruses infect non-bootable DOS floppy disks?
E2)  Can a virus hide in a PC's CMOS memory?
E3)  Can a PC virus hide in Extended or in Expanded RAM in a PC?
E4)  Can a virus hide in a PC's Upper Memory or its High Memory Area?
E5)  Can a virus infect data files?
E6)  Can viruses spread from one type of computer to another?
E7)  Are mainframe computers susceptible to computer viruses?
E8)  Some people say that disinfecting files is a bad idea.  Is that
E9)  Can I avoid viruses by avoiding shareware, free software or games?
E10) Can I contract a virus on my PC by performing a "DIR" of an
     infected floppy disk?
E11) Is there any risk in copying data files from an infected floppy
     disk to a clean PC's hard disk?
E12) Can a DOS virus survive and spread on an OS/2 system using the
     HPFS file system?
E13) Under OS/2 2.0+, could a virus infected DOS session infect another
     DOS session?
E14) Can normal DOS viruses work under MS Windows?
E15) Can I get a virus from reading e-mail, BBS message forums or
     USENET News?
E16) Can a virus "hide" in a GIF or JPEG file?

Section F:   Miscellaneous Questions
             (I have heard...  I was just wondering...)

F1)  How many viruses are there?
F2)  How do viruses spread so quickly?
F3)  What is the correct plural of "virus"?  "Viruses" or "viri" or
     "virii" or "vira" or...
F4)  When reporting a virus infection (and looking for assistance), what
     information should be included?
F5)  How often should we upgrade our antivirus tools to minimize
     software and labor costs and maximize our protection?
F6)  What are "virus simulators" and what use are they?
F7)  I've heard talk of "good viruses".  Is it really possible to use a
     computer virus for something useful?
F8)  Wouldn't adding self-checking code to your programs be a good idea?

Section G:   Specific Virus and Antivirus Software Questions...

G1)  I was infected by the Jerusalem virus and disinfected the infected
     files with my favorite antivirus program.  However, WordPerfect
     and some other programs still refuse to work.  Why?
G2)  Is my disk infected with the Stoned virus?
G3)  I was told that the Stoned virus displays the text "Your PC is now
     Stoned" at boot time.  I have been infected by this virus several
     times, but have never seen the message.  Why?
G4)  I was infected by both Stoned and Michelangelo.  Why has my
     computer become unbootable?  And why, each time I run my favorite
     scanner, does it find one of the viruses and say that it is
     removed, but when I run it again, it says that the virus is still
G5)  My scanner finds the Filler and/or Israeli Boot virus in memory,
     but after I boot from a clean floppy it reports no viruses.  Am I
G6)  I was infected with Flip and now a large part of my hard disk
     seems to have disappeared.  What has happened?
G7)  What does the GenB and/or the GenP virus do?
G8)  How do I "boot from a clean floppy"?
G9)  My PC diagnostic utility lists "Cascade" amongst the hardware
     interrupts (IRQs).  Does this mean I have the Cascade virus?
G10) Occasionally the text "welcome datacomp" appears in my Mac
     documents without me typing it.  Is this a virus?
G11) How good are the antivirus tools included with MS-DOS 6?
G12) When I do a "DIR | MORE", I see two files with random names that
     are not there when I just use "DIR".  On my friends's system they
     cannot be seen.  Do I have a virus?
G13) What is the ChipAway virus?  (Or ChipAwayVirus?)

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