February 5, 1996 in Nation/World

Computer Virus Hits Windows 95 But Boza Is Not Particularly Contagious

Associated Press

Software saboteurs have created the first computer virus specifically targeted at Microsoft’s Windows 95 program, British researchers said Sunday.

The virus can corrupt programs so they no longer function and then can spread to other users’ machines, Paul Ducklin, an analyst for the British software company Sophos, told The Associated Press.

“It is the first virus we’ve seen that is written specifically for Windows 95,” said Ducklin, whose company specializes in writing programs that destroy viruses. “So, although it is not particularly well-written, Boza will go down in history,” Ducklin said.

Analysts have named the virus Boza after a Bulgarian liquor “so powerful that just looking at it will give you a headache,” Ducklin said.

Fortunately for the millions of users of Windows 95, the virus does not appear to be particularly contagious.

“To infect someone else’s machine, you would have to give them an infected program and they would have to run it,” Alan Solomon, chairman of the S and S International software firm, told The Independent newspaper on Sunday.

But “most people don’t swap programs around like that,” Solomon said.

Ducklin said Boza is not yet “in the wild” - computer talk for a virus that is replicating itself on regular users’ personal computers. So far, Boza is circulating mainly among companies that make anti-virus programs, Ducklin said. Software is available to destroy it.

© Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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