The Infobox is extremely useful to readers as it provides a place for most of the basic information about the virus, worm, person or other important thing in question. This page will explain the uses of the infobox and its fields. If you would like to make an infobox for an article, click on the "edit" tab at the top of the page and copy the above code (but do not delete or change anything on this page, unless you know that major changes to the Infobox have been made). We greatly appreciate any comments or suggestions, so if you have any pertaining to infoboxes, place them in the "discussion" tab of this page.
|Type||File virus, Internet worm etc.|
|Place of Origin||City, Locality, Nation|
|Source Language||Computer language|
|File Type(s)||File Extension|
|Infection Length||No. of Bytes|
|Reported Costs||Currency amount|
This field is for what type of self-replicator the particular program or piece of code is and the infection method and vector it uses. If it infects boot sectors or Master Boot Records, then it is a "Boot virus", or if it infects files, it is a file virus. For worms, it is primarily based on the worm's method of spreading ("Mass mailer worm" for worms that spread through mass mailing).
Please do not specify here whether it memory resident or any of the finer details about the virus's or worm's behavior. Although a separate field or fields for such things is being planned, these can currently be explained through the body of the entry.
The name of the person who created the virus goes here. If the virus creator works with a magazine or group such as 29A, Metaphase or iKx, use their handle (such as Benny, Gigabyte or b0z0) even if their real name is publicly known. If the person is known to have released a malicious virus or worm into the wild, and they do not code these types of self-replicators for knowledge rather than destruction, then use their real name.
The word "coder" may also be inappropriate in many situations, as some viruses and worms are not actually coded, but rather created in generators or copy-pasted together from various scripts. In addition, the term "coder" has a certain amount of honour attached to it, and some believe that the honour can only go to people who can code in Assembly.
It should be pretty obvious what this is here, but there are still some rules we would like editors to abide by. Please use the Asian YYYY.MM.DD date format. This is much less confusing, as the Americans use the MM.DD.YY format and the Europeans use the DD.MM.YY format. Therefore if today is 2007.04.08 in Japan, it is 08.04.2007 in Poland and 04.08.2007 in The United States. Even if the first two numbers of the year are left out making it "07", few people are going to mistake the year for more than a second, but days and months can get confusing, especially when you are dealing with something that happened a long time ago.
Also, when writing the discovery date, choose the earliest date you can find. If you have only one source, try looking at a few antivirus company websites or news articles, as one of them may have had knowledge of the virus or worm before your original source.
Place of Origin
Also pretty obvious, include as much information as you can (city, any form of locality such as province, state, prefecture, and of course, nation). If there is a strong possibility that it originated in a certain country, but there is no absolute certainty, add a question mark after the name of the place.
This field answers what language the virus or worm was written in, such as Assembly, C++, Python, Lisp or any other computer language. We should not see English, French or Chinese here.
This was once "Operating system", though "Platform" is more technically correct. Again, this infobox was created before we totally knew what we were doing. Unfortunately, (and we knew this at the time) not all viruses or worms infect operating systems, they infect platforms or files on platforms. A binary virus can infect executables on a Windows machine and only a Windows machine, while a Word Macro can run on any operating system that runs Microsoft Word, including a Macintosh. Therefore, Microsoft Word is just as much of a platform as Windows, Linux or Macintosh. There is kind of a difference between a platform and an operating system (the details will be explained elsewhere when appropriate).
This field is for what kind of files the program or code in question infects. While with Microsoft Windows and DOS, this usually means an extension name (.exe, .com, .dll and similarly), many Unix-based systems do not have extensions, so the name of the file type (ELF, Mach) must be used.
With worms, this should be the file extension or type of file that a worm comes in. If it comes in a Windows screensaver, it should be .scr, or if it comes in a Unix ELF file, this will be ELF. If the worm comes in an .exe file and drops a trojanized .dll file or it uses a separate .vbs script that performs a special function for the worm such as mass-mailing, those should be listed here too.
For boot sector viruses that drop no files, this field can be eliminated.
This should usually be in bytes, not kilo- or mega- bytes.
This was once "Total Costs", but because of concern with technical correctness, it has been changed to Reported Costs. "Reported" rather than "Total" is technically more correct, as the total amount of damage will never really be known. On the one hand, not everyone who really suffered some damage because of data loss, whole computer loss or productivity loss is going to come forward and make a claim. On the other hand, there is a killing to be made by exaggerating claims of loss for insurance or lawsuit purposes.
We prefer this to be in US Dollars, but any currency amount can be used, as online currency converters are only a few clicks away.
If the virus or worm in question was never released into the wild, this field may be eliminated.
|Birth Place||City, Locality, Nation|
|Operations||City, Locality, Nation|
This Infobox may have a few more fields added to it. It may also be split into a few other Infoboxes for Virus/Worm creators, Antivirus people, researchers, security experts and other personalities relevant to the study of viruses and worms.
In most cases, this will be the handle of a virus/worm creator, such as "Gigabyte" or "Benny". In cases where the creator has released delibarately malicious code and the real name is known, use the real name. Use the real names of people who are not virus/worm creators such as "Peter Szor" or "Friðrik Skúlason" (antivirus researchers).
As mentioned above with virus and worm discovery dates, use the Asian YYYY.MM.DD date format.
The City, Locality (Prefecture, Province, State, Département and similar) and Nation of the person's birth should go here.
Place of Operations
Same format as Birth Place, but where the person in question does his/her work. If it is the same as the birth place, then simply duplicate the information.
Any VX group, business or other organisation that the persion in question has worked for should go here.