Throwback Thursday: One_Half: The Lieutenant Commander?

Posted by   Helen Martin on   May 26, 2016

The recently encountered Petya trojan comes as something of a blast from the past: it infects the Master Boot Record (MBR) and encrypts the Master File Table (MFT). Kaspersky Lab's Fedor Sinitsyn has a good description of the trojan in a blog post, in which he points out that, far from being anything new, infection of the Master Boot Record (MBR) and encryption of files was seen as far back as 1994, when the One_Half virus infected MBRs and encrypted the disk contents.


Back in October 1994, it was the founder of Kaspersky Lab, Eugene Kaspersky himself, who provided a detailed analysis of One_Half for VB.

The multi-partite virus used some of the techniques developed by the Dark Avenger in Commander_Bomber, a virus that had caused numerous problems for researchers by inserting its code into a random location within an infected file. The fact that One_Half could also encrypt vital parts of the fixed disk complicated matters still further. Kaspersky concluded that One_Half posed many problems to the developers of anti-virus software, was worthy of further attention, and that great care should be taken when removing it from an infected disk.

The article can be read here in HTML-format, or downloaded here as a PDF.



Latest posts:

New paper: Does malware based on Spectre exist?

It is likely that, by now, everyone in computer science has at least heard of the Spectre attack, and many excellent explanations of the attack already exist. But what is the likelihood of finding Spectre being exploited on Android smartphones?

More VB2018 partners announced

We are excited to announce several more companies that have partnered with VB2018.

Malware authors' continued use of stolen certificates isn't all bad news

A new malware campaign that uses two stolen code-signing certificates shows that such certificates continue to be popular among malware authors. But there is a positive side to malware authors' use of stolen certificates.

Save the dates: VB2019 to take place 2-4 October 2019

Though the location will remain under wraps for a few more months, we are pleased to announce the dates for VB2019, the 29th Virus Bulletin International Conference.

Necurs update reminds us that the botnet cannot be ignored

The operators of the Necurs botnet, best known for being one of the most prolific spam botnets of the past few years, have pushed out updates to its client, which provide some important lessons about why malware infections matter.

We have placed cookies on your device in order to improve the functionality of this site, as outlined in our cookies policy. However, you may delete and block all cookies from this site and your use of the site will be unaffected. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to Virus Bulletin's use of data as outlined in our privacy policy.