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Old 10-08-2008, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Texas
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I had the idea that possibly a new way of sneaking a virus or other malware into a computer would be insert it "fragged" so next time the computer is defragged, the malware is activated.

Admittedly, I don't know much about how these files are put together, so this idea may not work. I was just curious about whether or not it would work. if it would, then maybe a defense could be put in place for it.
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Old 10-09-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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I don't think it would matter if the virus was fragmented or not. Usually when a file becomes fragmented, it's still in one piece - so to speak. For example, an executable file doesn't become disabled simply because your hard drive becomes cluttered and fragmented. A program doesn't stop working simply because your hard drive is storing bits and pieces of information across the disk. It simply makes the drive work harder (and thus taking a bit longer) to access and execute the file.

You're probably thinking about a virus that could be split into different segments, but in that case you would need a utility that joined them back together before it could do anything. It's kinda like when you want to download a large movie or other executable file that is split into different segments. You're going to need something that reconnects all the "wires" between the segments before it will play completely. Nevertheless, you could try contacting an anti-virus vendor and asking them if such a thing is possible. If so, maybe they could develop a way of anticipating such a virus and take steps to "head it off at the pass", so to speak, before it would have a chance to become a reality.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:03 AM
 
Location: HoCo, MD
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Interesting -

not an expert in architecture - but I don't think it would matter. I believe the management of data on a disk is done by the OS or the disk drive, not the application. So in essence, you are simply shipping parts of an application to a system - and as aquila mentioned, you'd have to have another program to re-assemble it.

I'd also think that a virus scanner will still see it as part of that code will still match the definition (again, not a programmer - so just a guess).

Another concept that has been discussed in the last few years is the blue pill - a root kit that will take your entire OS and turn it into a "virtualized" system... so now the virus or malware is actually controlling your entire computing environment. The A/V program running within the OS won't even see it since it can't see beyond the OS. This is possible since CPU's are now coming out with virtualization support (the original concept was designed against the AMD SVM/Pacifica technology). And we thought the Matrix was just a movie.....

Keep in mind though - that was just a concept... and there were flaws with the concept. But I'm sure its got people thinking.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Texas
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I just remembered a program I mentioned a couple of times that monitors files to see if there is any hanky-panky going on. It one that doesn't need definitions, so it wouldn't be a case where something slipped past it, even if the idea about sneaking some kind of critter into a computer was workable.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:02 PM
 
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I would think you would write the virus to activate when the defrag was chosen. Change the path of exe to activate instead of defrag. I know paradise was one that made it easy to change things around and gain control if your file was accepted by the other party.
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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I think your thought was, as the compuer defrags the file, it activates it. However, I believe that in the defrag process, all the computer is really doing is just copying the bits into new locations. Its not 'reading' the file. But, thats just my belief.

However, as Pitt just mentioned... it is possible to hijack the defrag utility, and that could do the trick.
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Old 10-23-2008, 06:57 AM
 
Location: United Kingdom
339 posts, read 1,149,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Radek View Post
I think your thought was, as the compuer defrags the file, it activates it. However, I believe that in the defrag process, all the computer is really doing is just copying the bits into new locations. Its not 'reading' the file. But, thats just my belief.

However, as Pitt just mentioned... it is possible to hijack the defrag utility, and that could do the trick.
You are correct. All a defrag program does is move electromagnetic signals, which make bits, on the hard drive around. This will not alter the way any program sees them, and it should not be possible for a defrag program to run files.

However, as stated, it may be possible for a virus to manipulate these signals in transit.
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