Date: Wed, 7 Apr 93 16:18:36 PDT
Subject: Donatello update
From: bostic@vangogh.CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rich Rosen)
Version 2.0.1 of the Donatello Virus is now available. This completely
rewritten version resolves the bugs found in previous versions that allowed
virus interception programs to discover and eliminate Donatello from host
systems. It also includes a variety of new features. This version is
available for a wide variety of systems, including IBM-compatible PCs,
Macintoshes (color and monochrome), Amigas, Suns, NeXTs, and C-64's.
1. Disinfectant was previously capable of detecting the presence of Donatello
on PC's running DOS 6.0 and higher by examining the SKNI block and finding
a count discrepancy between the number found there and the actual number of
non-printable characters in a file. Donatello circumvents this by feeding
garbage into the SKNI block until it explodes.
2. On Macintoshes running System 7.3 and up, Donatello attempted to overwrite
all Monty Python, Star Trek, Ren & Stimpy, and Three Stooges sounds with
a sample of Howard Stern belching, but an incompatibility with the format of
the BURP resource resulted in the system not hanging. The system now hangs
correctly during this operation.
3. Whenever the screensaver After Dark was operational in either the
DOS/Windows or Macintosh environments, Donatello would cease its processing
and not resume properly after the screen saver was killed by mouse movement.
A minor incompatibility was present that led to the screen saver being
activated while Donatello searched for its presence on the system. Once
After Dark had been activated, Donatello would discontinue its search (and
destroy) operations. To extricate it from this vicious circle, the search
order has been revised so that After Dark is checked for first (preceded
only by checks for the presence of virus detection agents). If it is
found, the screen pattern selected by the user is replaced with annoying
flashing lights and deafening noises (where sound capability is available).
This causes the users to disable After Dark themselves, allowing Donatello
to continue processing undeterred.
4. Donatello's attempt to replace all icons with chickens did not work properly
in Open Look and Motif environments. It seems that putting the mask over
the chicken created the exact pattern necessary to cause local netnews
software to post an article attributed to the user to the newsgroup
alt.personals.bondage asking if there are "any real men out there who can
tame me". While this was considered by many to be a feature, it was easily
traced back so that the presence of Donatello on the system was readily
detected. Donatello has been fixed so that the article is now attributed
to your boss.
1. Cray support has been enhanced. Previously Donatello tried to overload the
machine using that old Star Trek trick of telling the system to compute the
value of pi. This has been augmented by having it check to see if anyone
else on the system is already doing this, and then screwing it up by
inserting people's phone numbers randomly into the digit stream.
2. After numerous requests, Donatello will now run on the Commodore VIC-20.
We're not sure what damage it could actually do there, but we are currently
working on having it "manually" create things that are worth overwriting.
3. Amigas and Macintoshes connected to Video Toasters now cause the Video
Toaster to eject Video Poptarts.
Donatello V2.0.1 is available at a number of FTP archive sites throughout the
internet. Due to major enhancements to the code, Donatello will be installed
on your system automatically as it is transferred via FTP, no matter what
sort of machine you are on. Those without FTP access can send e-mail to:
You will receive a mail bounce message since this is a totally bogus address,
but thanks to Donatello daemons already installed on most name servers
throughout the internet, your request will be detected and Donatello will be
e-mailed to you directly, along with instructions on how to install it. (The
act of reading the instructions online from within most mail readers will cause
Donatello to be installed.)
The most reliable sources for the latest version of Donatello are listed below.
Included are the site name, the file name, and the description attached to it
in the readme files <wink wink>.
(Description: list of rules for department of philosophy, #1...)
(Description: the latest version of the game Scrotum, have a ball...)
(Description: the scripts of the lost episodes of Gilligan's Island)
The authors of Donatello are members of the SPA (Software Piraters Association)
and strongly encourage copies of Donatello to be made and distributed freely.
However, Donatello *is* shareware. Do not forget to pay your shareware fee.
Failure to do so will mean that you will not get the latest and greatest
available releases of Donatello sent directly to you, since we will not have
the necessary information (internet address, root password, etc.) that you
provide to us on your registration form.
(It should be noted that Version 2.0.2 will fill out and e-mail this
registration form to us automatically. Expected availability: 4/1/93.)
© 1993 Peter Langston