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CIH Virus

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On this day of technology: April 26

Millions of computers affected by CIH virus

The CIH 1.2 computer virus attacks computers around the world. Millions of computers around the world are damaged. 10,000 computers were also damaged in Bangladesh.

Pallava Mohaimen

Published: 26 April 2024, 11:00

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CIH  Virous
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Chen Ying-hau (right), creator of the Chernobyl virus. Collected in 1999

The CIH 1.2 computer virus attacks computers around the world. Millions of computers around the world are damaged. 10,000 computers were also damaged in Bangladesh. The virus was released on April 26, 1998. It became active on computers running Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows 98 operating systems on April 26, 1999, exactly one year after being dormant. On April 26, 1986, a nuclear accident occurred at Chernobyl in the then Soviet Union. The virus attacked the computer on the 13th anniversary of the accident. Hence it is also called Chernobyl virus. It had multiple versions, which were active on the 26th of a particular month. The most dangerous of these was the CIH 1.2 version that was activated on April 26.

CIH  Virous
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CIH detected in Norton AntiVirus Wikimedia Commons

CIH was the macro genre of viruses. It was spread through attached doc files in emails. It used to corrupt driver (*.exe) files of Windows 95 and Windows 98 operating systems. As a result, the computer would not turn on. It also removes the hard disk partition, causing all the data on the hard disk to be lost. In some cases these viruses damage the motherboard’s BIOS (BIOS) or basic input-output system. As a result the motherboard also becomes useless.

26 April 1999
Millions of computers affected by CIH virus

Chen Ying-Hou Wikimedia Commons at an event in 2020

The Chernobyl virus was created by Chen Ying-hou, a 24-year-old student at Tatung University in Taiwan at the time. CIH is named after him. According to media reports, more than 1 million computers worldwide were infected with this virus. Commercial losses were estimated at more than 35.8 million US dollars. Most of the computers affected by the CIH virus were recovered, motherboards were activated after a few days. It is proved through this virus, it is possible to damage computer parts or hardware through software. No legal action has been taken against Chen Ying-hau in Taiwan because no one has directly filed a complaint.

CIH virus
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Report published on Chernobyl virus. April 27, 1999

April 27, 1999 According to the news titled ’10 thousand computers down’ published in Bangladesh, there was no advance warning of the Chernobyl virus for computer users in Bangladesh. According to information received from Bangladesh Computer Council, Bangladesh Computer Association, BCS Computer City and computer vendors and general users, as many as 10,000 computers across the country fell victim to the Chernobyl virus. Many users turned on the computer on the morning of April 26 and saw that it was not turning on, nothing was showing on the monitor.
A few years after the 1999 disaster, on April 26, the Chernobyl virus became active on many computers. However, since its antivirus software was released at that time, there was no news of any major damage.Stress was the most powerful and fastest computer of its time computahistory.org

26 April 1960
IBM announced ‘Stretch’ supercomputer

Computer maker International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation released an announcement promising supercomputers. In the announcement, the company announced the ‘Stretch’ or IBM 7030 supercomputer. Costing over $100 million, the Stretch was the fastest and most powerful computer in the world at the time. IBM said in the announcement that it is building computers like the Stretch for the Atomic Energy Commission in Los Alamos, New Mexico. IBM contracts with government agencies and businesses to build and supply computers like Stretch. These computers can complete 10,000 crore calculations per day. The new machine is 75 times faster than the previous computer IBM 704.




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