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Viruses & CMOS

Can a virus reside in a computer's complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS)? Is there a way to detect that my CMOS memory has a virus? Is there a way to repair a CMOS memory once it is altered by a virus?

Can a jpg file be infected by a virus?


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No, a virus cannot reside in the CMOS. A virus can corrupt the data stored in the CMOS, and there are many programs which can verify if this data has been altered from a stored copy. Yes, one can use a program to replace the CMOS data with the original data.

It is possible to store a file in another file (including image files) -- this is called stegnography. However, it is not the same thing as "infecting," as the image file is just used as a container, and the virus would have to be extracted by another program before it could run. Just viewing the image would nor trigger it.


This was first published in August 2001

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