Virus Profile: Ping Pong

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Virus Profile information details
Risk Assessment: Home Low | Corporate Low
Date Discovered: 3/1/1988
Date Added: 3/15/1988
Origin: Unknown
Length: Unknown
Type: Virus
Subtype: Boot
DAT Required: 4002
Removal Instructions
   
 
 
   

Description

This is a virus detection. Viruses are programs that self-replicate recursively, meaning that infected systems spread the virus to other systems, which then propagate the virus further. While many viruses contain a destructive payload, it's quite common for viruses to do nothing more than spread from one system to another.

Indication of Infection

When the virus activates, which is on a random basis, a bouncing ball or dot appears on the screen. This display can only be stopped through a system reboot.

Methods of Infection

The only way to infect a computer with an MBR/Boot Sector infector is to attempt to boot from an infected floppy diskette. The boot sector of the diskette has the code to determine if the diskette is bootable, and to display the "Non-system disk or disk error" message. It is this code that harbors the infection. By the time the non-system disk error message comes up, the infection has occurred. Once the virus is executed, it will infect the hard drive's MBR and may become memory resident. With every subsequent boot, the virus will be loaded into memory and will attempt to infect floppy diskettes accessed by the machine.

Aliases

Boot, Bouncing Ball, Bouncing Dot, Italian, Italian-A, VeraCruz
   

Virus Characteristics

Ping Pong is a memory resident, Master Boot Record(MBR)/Boot Sector infecting virus. The original Ping Pong virus only infects floppy diskettes. Later variants of this virus also infect the hard disk MBR as well . Ping Pong only affects 8088 & 8086 machines (PC's & XT's).

Upon infection, Ping Pong becomes memory resident.

Additional Comments:
The Ping Pong virus is a boot sector virus which was first reported in March 1988. The original Ping Pong virus only infects Floppy Disks. Later variants of this virus also infect the hard disk boot sector as well. When the virus activates, which is on a random basis, a bouncing ball or dot appears on the screen. This display can only be stopped through a system reboot. No other damage is apparently done. The original Ping Pong virus is extinct, though the hard disk variant, Ping Pong-B listed below, is a common MS-DOS virus. Known variant(s) of Ping Pong are:

Variants

Variants information
Virus Name Type Subtype Differences
PingPong-B Virus Boot
PingPong-C Virus Boot
   

Windows 95/98:
Note for Windows 9x systems - during the boot process a Windows95 created boot disk will access the hard drive for information. Because of this an image of the virus may be in memory but not active.

To remove the virus, follow the following steps:
- If you use the McAfee emergency disk, hit F8 at the starting Windows 95 message, and select Step-by-step Configuration. Say yes to everything except processing the autoexec.bat file.
- At the a:, type
BOOTSCAN C: /BOOT /CLEAN /NOMEM

Windows NT/2000:
Shut down the PC and turn the power off. Obtain or create a virus free boot disk and scan disk. After booting, at the A:\ prompt, execute the following command:
BOOTSCAN C: /boot /clean

Once the virus has been removed, remove all floppy diskettes from the computer and reboot from the hard drive.

This will also clean an NTFS Master Boot Record and allow Windows NT to successfully reboot from the hard disk drive. VirusScan for DOS will not be able to read the rest of the NTFS partition. After starting Windows, execute VirusScan or NetShield to detect and clean Windows NT file infections which may exist.

   

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