The Freeware Hall Of Fame

Imaginary Viruses
A collection from the late 1990s

Free Enterprise Virus
Uses your modem to get your credit card number and methodically surfs the Web from end to end buying everything offered for sale.

Sportscaster Virus
Reports worthless statistics about your PC such as how many files were created on odd-numbered days of the month.

Kervorkian Virus
Deletes only terminal programs.

News Media Virus
Alters and reports the contents of a PC's Hidden files in provocative language.

Supermarket Tabloid Virus
Variant of News Media Virus does not actually read Hidden files but posts inventive, lurid reports.

Demo Virus
Displays a message that all applications will cease working in 30 days unless you send $299 plus $2.99 S&H to Beavis and Butthead. All applications cease working 29.9 days later.

Sigmund Freud Virus
High-level email linguistics analysis program doesn't send what you typed. It sends what you were really thinking.

Home Shopping Network Virus
TV-touted anti-virus program protects the PC against boot-sector viruses as advertised, but infects the FAT, the partition table, and the CMOS.

Advertising Industry Virus
Searches software files for prices and when it finds one, adds a hefty surcharge.

Wall Street Virus
Attacks "program trading" networks. On a certain day at 3:55 it will issue 90 program trade orders at the NYSE to buy a million shares of Iomega at market price. (By 4 pm Iomega will be down half-a-point, as usual.)

Bill Gates Virus
Using your modem, it replaces your operating system and applications with Microsoft's and charges your VISA for it. (See Reverse Discrimination Virus.)

Reverse Discrimination Virus
Deletes only programs written by Microsoft.

Different Drummer Virus
Causes random file over-writes 364 days a year but is dormant on Michelangelo's birthday.

Jesus Virus
Posts message that all files have been saved when they weren't, then deletes them.

Drive-by Virus
Destroys other viruses and whatever files are located near them.

Nazi Virus
Destroys files. When aborted by operator, posts message saying it was following ROM instructions. (See FBI Virus.)

FBI Virus
Scans across a LAN looking for an x-rated file and if it finds one, destroys all files on the LAN and over-writes track 0 on all harddrives. Reports it was following ROM instructions. (See Nazi Virus.)

Murphy's Law Virus
Unintentionally coded to destroy files starting with itself, rendering it harmless. (See Polish Virus.)

Polish Virus
Intentionally coded to destroy files starting with itself, rendering it harmless. (See Murphy's Law Virus.)

Intellectual Virus
Sophisticated configuration code to re-write the OS. Harmless as author forgot to add links to trigger it.

Voter Virus
Quietly dormant in high memory, it begins to sap PC resources in October. Causes random, serious damage on the first Tuesday in November.

Drunk Driver Virus
Erratically erases clusters, often including its own.

Othello Virus
Seeks out virus disinfection programs and when it finds one, runs it and dies. (Also known as the Anna Karenina Virus, Dr. Jekyll, the Ahab Virus, other names.)

Nixon Virus
Tries lamely to corrupt the OS, fails and over-writes itself. Remains dormant unless the Voter Virus revives it, then repeats the cycle.

Anti-Darwin Virus
Diverts 100% of a PC's resources to its own code regeneration. Does nothing other than regenerate. AKA Snail Darter Virus, Spotted Owl Virus. Potentially an enormous family of crippling viruses.

Graft Virus
Uses system resources to replicate itself in the space above other programs, hooking into them so it receives system resources when they do. (AKA the IBEW Virus, Big Apple Virus, Mafia Virus.)

Luddite Virus
Destroys programs not written in assembly language.

Windows Virus
Slows file executions, reduces available harddrive space, over-writes screen with tiny pictures each labeled "Murphy's Law."

Office of Education Virus
Converts PC ROM calculations from base 10 to base 8. Does not update executables to reflect that.

Office of Education Virus, variant
Converts number crunching programs to Reverse Polish Notation. Does not change documentation or hlp files.

College Virus
Allocates all resources to child applications.

Ann Landers Virus
Over-writes harddrive with platitudes and aphorisms.

Dave Barry Virus
Over-writes harddrive with amusing anecdotes.

PMS Virus
Displays message IF YOU WON'T DELETE THIS JUNK, I WILL, then deletes all files it doesn't need for itself.

ASP Virus
Creates thousands of 3-word files and nags you to read them. Each file says "Read next file."

Programmer Virus
Monitors code writing and inserts a new bug when an old bug is removed.

Shareware Virus
Over-writes half your files with messages to register it if you want your files back. If you register it, it over-writes the other half with a messages offering an upgrade to the "Pro version."

Government Bureaucrat Virus
Over-writes the boot sequence with: "To read this you must first plug your computer in and turn it on." It then sends 90 pages of gobbledegook to your printer, with the last 9 saying "Paperwork Reduction Act" alternating with "This page intentionally left blank."

Ross Perot Virus
Uses PC speaker to announce over and over in nasal twang, "I'm running." Otherwise does nothing.

Republican Virus
Diverts all PC resources to 10% of the applications.

Democrat Virus
Creates endless applications for which there are insufficient resources.

Libertarian Virus
Forces the computer to run with no CMOS settings.

TV Virus
Inserts 160 lines of advertising after every 120 lines of text in your files. AKA the Website Virus.

Olympics Virus
Creates a GAMES directory that draws resources away from all the other directories.

Chinese Virus
Makes unauthorized copies of your CD-Roms.

New Age Virus
Converts a PC into a dumb terminal.

Reactionary Virus
Deletes all files with dates after 01/01/80.

Biblical Virus
Deletes all files with dates after 00/00/00.

Fundamentalist Virus
Uses your modem to download version of applications issued before bugs were fixed, and installs them.

BB Virus
Re-writes text files so they read the same backwards and forwards.

Heroin Virus
Makes keyboarding so euphoric you become addicted to it. AKA the ILink virus.

Consultant Virus
Changes CMOS settings, scrambles the FAT, and posts message (with prices) saying you need a new computer.

Wal-Mart Virus
Does everything other viruses do but requires less resources.

K-Mart Virus
Pretends to be the Wal-Mart virus but has bugs and requires more resources.

Cigarette Virus
Gradually erodes PC resources. Widespread claims it emits noxious fumes.

M Virus
Displays the message "YOU ARE DEAD WRONG."

Adds garbled lines to the top of your text files and randomly replicates paragraphs.

Bill Clinton Virus
Not an actual virus but an operating system add-on. Causes problems attempting to upgrade the current OS.

Ronald Reagan Virus
Trashes the system by carrying out the commands of other viruses, then disables XMS, EMS and low memory.

Washington Virus
Endlessly divides a harddisk into smaller and smaller partitions each devouring additional system resources.

Congressional Virus #1
Locks up the PC, splits the screen, and each side shows a message saying the other side is responsible for it.

Congressional Virus #2
Ignores interrupts from the keyboard until you assign it large amounts of processor resources. Then responds to some keys and not to others.

Congressional Virus #3
A stealth virus, it quietly over-taxes your resources with functions you don't want.

Newt Virus
A Congress family virus that disables important OS functions without freeing up any resources.

Texas Virus
The second largest virus on record, bi-lingual English/Spanish, over-writes files with redneck jokes.

Adam and Eve Virus
Takes bytes from Apple computers. Credited with mythical reproduction capability.

AT&T Virus
Interrupts your work to sell you something twice a day.

MCI Virus
Randomly interrupts your work to sell you something for less money than the AT&T virus.

Right-to-Life Virus
Won't allow you to delete a file. If you attempt to, it demands you get counselling. After three demands it plants ANSI bombs in random programs.

Government Virus
Your resources inexplicably drain away but diagnostics report everything is fine.

New World Order Virus
Ties your PC into a vast world PC network which is shut down for upgrades and maintenance 300 days a year.

Airline Baggage Virus
Attacks wide-area networks. Moves your files to random places thousands of miles away. You are with IBM in New York; overnight your files are sent to some desktop in Botswana, leaving no trace.

School Zone Virus
Makes a Pentium Pro 200 perform like an XT.

O.J. Virus (not mine but worth remembering)
Deletes your files, displays a message that it didn't, and says it's looking for the virus that did.

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Page last updated June 5, 2019