This virus is a polymorphic virus infecting COM and EXE files when they are executed.
Always virus activates on random dates during 1997. When it activates, the virus deletes these system files, making the PC unbootable:
C:\IO.SYS C:\MSDOS.SYS C:\CONFIG.SYS
After this, the virus displays this message:
DOS/4GW Professional Protected Mode Run-time Version 1.95 Copyright (c) Rational Systems, Inc. 1990-1993 Getto Virus Version 1.0b Copyright (C) 1995,96 by Geci Allat This Getto requirest 80286 or better processor Formating Hard Disk #1 [...................] Formating Hard Disk #2 [...................] Ready. gEtTo Always the Best! MS-SUX Destroyer
However, the virus does not format any drives. It is possible to recover the drive by booting from a non-infected system disk with the same version of DOS or Windows as on hard drive and using SYS C: from it.
The virus also contains this text, which is never displayed:
Tested with F-Prot v2.22 and TBAV700
Always was reported to be in the wild in Hungary in December 1996.
Once detected, the F-Secure security product will automatically disinfect the suspect file by either deleting it or renaming it.
Description Created: Analysis: Peter Szor, F-Secure 1997