Pikachu virus

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Pikachu Virus
Common namePoké Virus
Technical nameWin32/Pikachu
TypeEmail worm
Author(s)Unknown
Operating system(s) affectedWindows 9x
Written inVisual Basic

The Pikachu virus, sometimes referred to as Poké Virus, was a computer virus believed to be the first computer virus geared at children due to its incorporation of Pikachu from the Pokémon series. It was released on June 28, 2000, and arrived in the form of an email titled "Pikachu Pokemon" [sic] with the body of the e-mail containing the text "Pikachu is your friend."[1] Opening the attached executable met users with an image of Pikachu, along with a message stating: "Between millions of people around the world I found you. Don’t forget to remember this day every time MY FRIEND."[2] The virus itself appeared in the attachment to the email as a file named "PikachuPokemon.exe".[3]

It was often compared to the Love Bug, though the Pikachu virus was noted to be far less dangerous and slower in its dissemination.[4]

Spread[edit]

The virus was mainly spread through Microsoft Outlook email attachments. The email containing the attached virus propagated through infected users by sending itself to all contacts in the user's Outlook address book.[5]

Execution[edit]

When the user clicks on the attachment, PikachuPokemon.exe adds the lines "del C:\WINDOWS" and "del C:\WINDOWS\system32" to the file "autoexec.bat". These commands would be executed at the next boot, attempting to delete two critical directories of the Windows operating system.[6] However, users would be given a prompt asking whether or not they wanted to delete those folders, since the author did not write the added lines as “del C:\WINDOWS\*.* /y” and “del C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\*.* /y” (the /y switches would have automatically chosen the yes option).[7] It is believed that this defect may be the reason that the Pikachu virus did not become more widespread and cause more damage to computer systems.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Szor, Peter (February 13, 2007). "W32.Pokey.Worm". Symantec. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
  2. ^ "Pikachu Virus Begins to Grow". 24 August 2000. Archived from the original on November 13, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  3. ^ "Pikachu: Threat Description". Virus and threat descriptions. F-Secure Corporation. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  4. ^ Staff writer (November 10, 2000). "Pikachu virus hits North America". CBC News. Archived from the original on November 2, 2013. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  5. ^ "Pokemon virus contained". BBC News. August 25, 2000. Archived from the original on April 13, 2003. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Pikachu". Panda Security. Archived from the original on October 6, 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  7. ^ Singleton, Don. "Pikachu Virus". Tulsa Computer Society. Archived from the original on February 28, 2012. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
  8. ^ Staff writer (August 24, 2000). "Pokemon turns nasty in new computer virus". Independent Online. Archived from the original on September 25, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2012.

Further reading[edit]