Type File virus
Creator Masud Khafir
Date Discovered 1992.01
Place of Origin The Netherlands
Source Language Assembly
Platform DOS
File Type(s) .com
Infection Length 2,973 - 3,850 Bytes
Reported Costs

Pogue is one of the early viruses to use the Dark Avenger Mutation Engine and was not written by Dark Avenger himself. It is also notable for playing music at certain times. Masud Khafir, Its creator went on to create the first Windows virus.


Pogue becomes memory resident when executed. It installs itself near the top of memory below the 640K DOS boundry. In memory, the virus consumes 9,728 bytes of memory.

Files with a .com extension are infected when they are executed, opened or copied. If an uninfected file is copied, both the source and the new file will be infected. It avoids infecting COMMAND.COM by ignoring any file beginning with the three letters COM. It appends its code to the end of the files resulting in a file from 2,973 to 3,850 bytes longer.

Pogue encrypts itself on most infected files. On a few files, the text "Pogue Mahone!", "TNX2DAV"or "Pgoue Mahone!" will be visible if they are unencrypted.

If the time is between 8:00 and 9:00, the virus will play music through the system speaker.


Pogue gets its name from the name it places in the files it infects. "Pogue Mahone" is a spelling corruption of the Irish Gaelic phrase "póg mo thóin", meaning "kiss my ass". In 1996, an Irish band known as "The Pogues" wrote a song named "Pogue Mahone". The virus predates the song by four years, but there seems to be no link between the two. There is also an Irish restaurant and pub in Toronto with the name "Pogue Mahone". In spite of the rather rude name, the bar appears to be a family place and even has a kids menu.

The word "Pogue" by itself also has a number of meanings. It is a fairly common family name. Pogue was the name of a deceased terrorist on the 1990's TV series La Femme Nikita in the episode Slipping into Darkness. It is also a derogatory term used by frontline soldiers for rear support troops.

Other Facts

This virus contains code from other viruses by Dark Avenger and TP, including 512, Eddie, Seventhson, and Yankeedoodle. It was created by Masud Khafir, who would later that year create Winvir, the first Windows virus, and the file-compressing Cruncher. Probably because it is an early virus to use the Dark Avenger Mutation Engine, some virus researchers believed this virus originated in Bulgaria.


Patricia Hoffman. VSUM, Pogue Virus.

40Hex, Number 7, Volume 2, Issue 3, VSUMX 9204

Trident. Interview with Masud Khafir

James Christopher Monger. AllMusic, "The Pogues, Pogue Mahone."

Pogue Mahone Irish Pub.

The Urban Dictionary, pogue.

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