Subject: Re: A (long) story about an (old) Apple ][ virus
In article <1990Apr2.email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org
(Matthew T. Russotto) writes:
> So are you ELK CLONER???? That is the virus I thought was the first
> microcomputer virus, and '81 or '82 is the right time frame. As I recall,
> it would put up a message:
No, he's not the Elk. Here's the message:
"Elk Cloner: The program with a personality
It will get on all your disks
It will infiltrate your chips
Yes it's Cloner!
It will stick to you like glue
It will modify ram too
Send in the Cloner!"
This message would appear when you hit reset after your 50th boot of
an infected disk. Cloner counted boots; it played other subtle tricks
about every five boots. It never tried to harm data, but it could cause
problems if it tried to infect a non DOS 3.3 disk. I heard it trashed
Diversi-Dos disks if it tried to infect them.
Cloner was also mentioned in Computer Recreations (Scientific American,
March, 1985 I think), and also made it into Time (November 4, 1985).
The most complete description of its creation appeared in The Daily
Northwestern, a college paper. Ask me for a copy if you're interested.
Joe Dellinger's viruses sound similar to Cloner. Cloner occupied an
unused hole in Dos (somewhere on track 2 around sector 8). It also
stamped a version ID in the VTOC; manually putting Cloner's ID there
yourself provided a way of immunizing your disk.
In article <449@helens.Stanford.EDU> joe@hanauma (Joe Dellinger) writes:
> The Virus wasn't particularly infectious; it only spread on
> "CATALOG" commands.
Cloner also spread through the "CATALOG" command. I found it quite
infectious, though. Quarantined copies were a must; even so, it would
break out from time to time and I'd have to start up The Inspector (a
disk sector-editor) to get rid of it.
jd> check the version, the simplest way is to do a "CATALOG" of the disk you're
jd> checking, and then look at B3BF.
jd> (If you don't find zeros at B6E8, 9CFE, and B3BF, but also don't find
jd> the bytes I've mentioned, then I don't know any more about it than you do,
The similarity is incredible. I guess those unused spaces in the VTOC were
popular. Cloner used B3BF for the boot count; its version number was
stamped at B3C2.
If I can read this old code right, however, there's an easier way to
check for Cloner. Pop into the ROM monitor (CALL -151) and ...
Hurm, I forget... there was something called the "user" command
(was it '&' ?) and it must have taken an argument. $0B shows the
Cloner version number, $0C shows the current boot count, $0D forces a
clone, and $0A dumps the poem.
mr> Lots of them-- I'll check mine, and spread the message to the person I got
mr> Elk Cloner from (I have a copy of that, quarantined)
Amazing. Really amazing. I don't even have my Apple II anymore, I
gave it away. I wrote a lot of stuff for the Apple II--obscure adventure
games, a small compiler, a toy multi-user operating system. The stupidest
hack I ever coded generated the most interest, and lives on to this day.