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Michelangelo is a virus from 1991 famous for being one of the greatest sources of hysteria in the history of viruses (and probably the greatest in the era before a majority of homes and businesses were connected to the Internet). In spite of having a malicious payload, it did little damage except cause some embarrassment to journalists who avoided the subject of computer viruses for a while after the payload was supposed to activate.

Its payload activates on March 6, overwriting the hard disk with random characters. March 6 is the birthday of the artist Michelangelo and coincidentally, one of the software distributors that accidentally sold copies of the virus with its software was named "DaVinci Systems" after another rennaisance artist. The virus does not check if the MBR has been previously infected, therefore if a similar virus has already infected the MBR, it will move the previous virus to the location the original MBR was stored on, making recovery of the MBR impossible.

Recent Additions

  • Letum, a .NET worm by Retro that spreads through email and news groups.
  • Intruder, a DOS .exe infecting virus, used in a demonstration virus in Mark Ludwig's Black Books.
  • Screen, an Atari ST boot sector virus from 1988.
  • Rike, a Linux file virus written in Assembly.
  • Init1984, the first potentially dangerous Macintosh virus.
  • Blebla, an email worm capable of infecting a system when a user simply reads its email message.
  • Leviathan, a virus by Benny created to simulate neural nets.
  • Hillary, a simple 32-bit Windows parasitic virus, coded by Mark Ludwig as a demonstration in his Giant Black Book of Computer Viruses.
  • Satan, a dangerous macro virus remarkable for its ability to evade a heuristic macro scanner.


The Virus Encyclopedia will begin hosting some files on our own designated media page. We have hard drives, optical media and even floppy diskettes we have collected over the years filled with information that does not seem to be available anywhere else and occasionally we find something useful for one of our entries. The media is so far pretty disorganized, though we will be making an effort to put it all in one place and freely share it (where copyrights are not an issue) with everyone interested. In the meantime, when we find something from these files that is relevant to more than one page, we will upload it as an attachment to the Media page (there are only 2 entries as of this writing) and create a link to it.

We no longer cite articles from Gawker or their affiliates. Some recent events over the past year and finally one over the past couple days have brought to light a tendency to allow for some factual accuracies and some extremely unethical practices. Citing Gawker or its affiliates as sources not only has a higher potential for allowing factual accuracies into our wiki, but also may make it appear that we condone their actions. We will be making an effort to remove and replace sources pointing to their sites if we find any.


  • Ray Tomlinson dies at age 74 of a possible heart attack. Tomlinson is famous for the invention of email, including the user@host format used today. His work lead to the creation of the first email system on the ARPANET in 1971. Email has been a common attack vector for many worms and even some more advanced viruses. Tomlinson himself may have had a hand in the Creeper worm or some variant of it some time in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

Featured Image

Mylife is a family of destructive worms, most of which delete important system files. Most variants of the worm entice victims to open an email attachment with the promise of a picture. It usually delivers on this promise, displaying some kind of picture once the attachment is executed. The first one (pictured) is an image of a young girl, allegedly the love of the sender's life. Later variants had a political slant, featuring former US president Bill Clinton and former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon in their images. In addition to the pictures they display, Mylife often has other intersting visual elements, like the email attachment icons. These included images of Duckman, David Duchovny (Fox Mulder from the X-Files) and Groucho Marx.

The original deletes various types of files in the root, Windows and System folders, destroying the operating system. Later variants could be anything from mildly annoying, like the G, I and J variants that simply delete MP3 files, to extremely dangerous, like the M variant, which deletes all files on certain drives.



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Yaha is a worm with many variants, all based on the original worm, but with some different features added to later versions. Some variants of the worm were created (and possibly continue to be created) in a cyber-war between hackers of India and Pakistan. The worm allegedly caused over $10 billion in damages.

Many of its variants appear as a Valentine's Day message to entice victims to download and execute the attachment. The attachment itself is often an executable with a heart icon. Most variants display some kind of screensaver with a sickeningly sweet message.

In addition to the war between Pakistani and Indian hackers, the coder of Yaha had a brush with Belgian coder Gigabyte. Yaha's coder abused her website, so she coded Yahasux, which attacks some variants of Yaha.

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