What is CIH?

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What is CIH?
Overview of Chernobyl Virus

CIH is popularly known as the Chernobyl Virus. CIH is a computer virus for Microsoft Windows that was written by a Taiwanese named Chen Ing Hau during his college days in 1998 at Taiwan’s Tatung University. He designed the virus to have the ability to infect and corrupt computers that are using the Windows® 95, 98, and ME operating systems. CIH is known to be one of the worst computer virus ever made. CIH can totally damage any computer by overwriting serious information on system drives, which are infected. It can also corrupt the computer’s system BIOS.

History of the Chernobyl Virus

After Chen Ing Hau has written the virus in 1998, many computer applications of different companies got affected. In September the same year, the company Yamaha shipped firmware updates to their CD-R400 drives, which got affected by CIH. The next month after that, the Activision game’s demo version named SiN was infected by the virus too. In March of the following year, IBM also got infected by the virus.

On the 26th of April, year 1999, with a big part of Asia affected by the Virus, CIH filled the first 1024 KB of the boot drive host with zeros and certain types of BIOS were then attacked. Although it was workable to replace the BIOS chip, and techniques for recovering data in hard disk have been discovered after this incident, the Chernobyl Virus has caused the total damage of the PC.

In 2001, the virus had returned with a stronger ability to destroy and infect computers. This computer virus was also called the Love Letter Worm in a VBS file which was distributed over the internet. This virus is even disguised with a nude image of a famous celebrity, Jennifer Lopez. Soon after that, a modified version of the virus was developed and it was called the CIH.1106 in December 2002. Due to the awareness and the advancements in technology nowadays, the virus is no longer as threatening as it once was. Fortunately the virus is not able to infect the newer versions of Microsoft OS.

Effects of the CIH computer virus

The nature of this computer virus allows it overwrite files on Portable Executable format. Once the virus has been installed, the virus rapidly replicates by dividing itself and imbeds its parts in the spaces of the files.
The this computer virus fills out the spaces in between the files that it is infecting making it close to impossible for any virus protector program to identify the virus . This is why the virus is also called the “Spacefiller.”

This computer virus is designed to destroy programs and other files of the infected computers by overpowering these computers with unnecessary scripts that causes the computer mal function and gradually slow down. Among the nations in the world that have been affected by this computer virus, the ones who got affected the most are those from Asia and from the Middle East. These countries were greatly affected by the virus due to the common occurrence, of illegal installation of operating systems and the lack of awareness in computer security.

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