|Common name||Poké Virus|
|Operating system(s) affected||Windows 9x|
|Written in||Visual 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."
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."
The virus itself appeared in the attachment to the email as a file named "
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.
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.
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).
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.
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