Frequently asked questions - Virus Help Team

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Frequently asked questions
And the answers to them


I use Kickstart 1.2 or 1.3, what antivirus should I use ?
There is only one antivirus program that you can safely use under Kickstart 1.2 and 1.3, and that is VT-Schutz. VT-Schutz is an antivirus only with german menus and buttoms, and it can be hard for people to figure out how VT-Schutz works. Thorsten Behrens has transleted the dokumentation for VT-Schutz into english, so the menus are easyer to work with. But please make no mistake, VT-Schutz is absolutly a fantastic antivirus program, that can find around 99,8% of all known viruses for the Amiga. Using an outdated antivirus program like ect. Boot-X, ZeroVirus or VirusX, that can work under KickStart 1.2 and 1.3 is a very bad choice, use VT-Schutz to be safe, it is really not that hard to figuere out how to use.


How big is the risk of infection on the Amiga ?
In general, the risk of infection is the same as with all other operating systems.
But we still see that viruses like 'HappyNewYear' and 'Saddam' is still getting spred a lot.
However, there are not as many security holes in AmigaOS as e.g. with Windows.
In addition, viruses from other operating systems cannot infect AmigaOS. Windows programs cannot run under AmigaOS.



GURU messages mean virus ?
Another common misconception is that when Amiga alert a user with an Guru message, it must be a virus. These errors are common in faulty hard drives, memory or virus scanners and can be what's causing the issue. It's more likely to be something other than a virus.


Can a boot block virus infect my hard drive ?
Yes. Almost every non-boot virus is well known to be able to harm your harddisk. However, very few people know, that boot viruses can infect your harddisk, too. If you have an auto-boot hard disk you may get your sector 0 and 1 on cylinder 0 infected, and you will get a message saying something like 'Not a DOS disk in unit 0'..


Can a virus destroy my Amiga ?
We would like to point out that there is no virus that can destroy your computer. You may damage a hard drive or disk drive maybe, but the circuits themselves in the computer we have yet to see destruction on (caused by virus!).


Can a virus stay resident in the battery for the clock ?
No, this is not true.
If your Amiga is infected with a virus, just remember to turn of the power for at least 30 seconds, before you boot for with an Antivirus floppy disk.



Amiga computers can infect themselves with Viruses ?
Despite common misconceptions, Amiga cannot contract viruses by themselves. Users of the computer with an issue will have to have physically opened an infected program or file or visited a site that hosts viruses, and downloaded it.


All my floppy disks are infected with viruses, how can I get my Amiga back normal ?
If all the disks are infected, you have no chance of killing the virus.
You have to borrow a 'clean' Workbench disk from someone, preferably with a virus killer installed.
That is why we say it is a good idear to have an antivirus floppy disk as back up. If you dont have an antivirus floppy disk, Virus Help Team have made some Antivirus Floppy Disks (.DMS & .ADF packed), that you can download.



How can I protect myself against viruses ?
With a few basic rules, you can be fairly safe from infection or get rid of it easily:
  • Always keep floppy disks protected.
  • Only remove the write protection if necessary and then switch it on again.
  • Always protect original disks
  • Always make backup copies of the originals and only use them.
  • It is best to always have an emergency floppy disk with a current anti-virus program in your closet.
  • Always scan programs that are suspect for viruses before running them.
  • Scene demos and games in particular are often affected by viruses.
  • Only download software from a trusted scource.
  • Software updates that do not come from the original author are suspicious.
  • Software updates that sound unlikely or sensational (e.g. CygnusEd v9.1, VirusZ III v3.0 etc.) are suspicious
  • If infection is suspected, take immediate measures and prevent further spread.
  • If nothing appears to happen when the program starts, an infection of the program is likely.
  • If actions are carried out that were not initiated by the user, an infection is possible.
  • Always update the antivirus program before performing a virus test.
  • The latest viruses are always most likely to be in circulation. Older viruses rarely come around.
  • Most of the time you fall for the viruses that would have been added with the latest update of the antivirus software.


If I have detected an infection, what do I do ?
Stay calm. Nothing is lost, but there is a lot of work (and concentration) to do.
  • First switch off the computer so that the virus is deleted from the memory.
  • Then insert a Antivirus Floppy Disks into the floppy disk drive when you switch it on (Read-only of course). All writable data carriers that have come into contact with the Amiga since infection (i.e. floppy disks, hard disks, zip disks, removable disks, etc.) may be infected.
  • No program may be started from these data carriers.
  • The boot block is also a program! So do not boot from an infected floppy disk !!!
  • The suspect data carriers must be checked with the antivirus program and the infected files repaired or deleted.
  • If you accidentally restart the virus in between, you have to start all over again (switch off for 30 seconds)
  • If a disk with a special boot block has been infected by a boot block virus, the virus can be deleted, but the special boot block can no longer be restored. The software on this diskette will then probably no longer be usable.


But you can always contact us, if you want our help.
Regrads Virus Help Team


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