January 19, 2011

Virus That Damages Hardware

Virus is elaborated as Vital Information Resource Under Seige. A virus is capable of damaging hardware like hard drive, DVD drive, processor, motherboard, etc. There has been much debate on this topic whether it will infect the Hardware on the PC or is it just limited to Software.

We all know that hardware is controlled by software with the help of drivers and operating system. Virus is a software and if it infects or corrupts or somehow if it replaces the controlling software, it can control the hardware. Once a virus is in a position of controlling the hardware, it can damage it completely and make it unusable. Here are some instances where it can go a head and infect the hardware indirectly or directly:

  • Controlling the speed of fan and processor; slowing down the processor’s fan speed while overclocking the processor will burn it. 
  • Doing a certain task many times like writing-rewriting on hard drive millions of time that generates a bad cluster in it, will result in hard disk malfunctioning or complete damage. 
  • Erase the firmware of devices and BIOS of motherboard. 
  • A virus can control the graphics and send abnormal signals to the LCD monitor damaging it permanently.
  • A logic bomb can also cause a computer crash also damaging the hardware. 
The only way that it will damage the hardware is that it has to attack the software that controls the hardware. Some of the viruses that destroyed hardware in the past are :

Chernobyl: It is one of the most damaging viruses, overwriting critical information on infected system drives, and more importantly, in some cases corrupting the system BIOS.Computers that had motherboards based on the Intel 430TX chipset were the most vulnerable to it. The remedy was to buy the new BIOS chip.It was First founded by Chinese in the year 1988.


Kriz or W32.Kriz was discovered a year after Chernobyl virus and uses the same methods of effecting the hardware. Many believed that it was an extension of Chernobyl. Kriz was capable of overwriting data on the floppy, hard drive and RAM and erasing data from BIOS.


It was made in 2001. The virus was capable of deleting all the data from BIOS and hard drive. It spreads through email, it searches the address book of infected computer and sends an mail to list infected with it. Magistr can delete all the data from hard drive and/or BIOS suddenly.

 The only way to prevent these hardware eating viruses is to use a good anti-virus and updating it regularly.


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