Virus Encyclopedia

Welcome to the Virus Encyclopedia of Panda Security.


Threat LevelModerate threatDamageHighDistributionNot widespread


The effects of Michelangelo are the following:

  • It infects the boot sector of floppy disks (Boot) and hard disks (Master Boot Record).
  • It replaces the original master boot record with an infected version. It does this by moving the original MBR to a different section of the hard disk. This technique is known as Stealth.
  • It infects all the floppy disks used in the infected computer, provided that they are not write-protected.
  • When it activates, on March 6th, it overwrites some part of the information included in the hard disk.
  • It overwrites the information in track 0 of the target disk. More exactly, this occurs in the first 17 sectors of the first 4 sides of the first 250 cylinders on the disk. This means that approximately 8 MB will be lost.
  • The File Allocation Table (FAT) and the root directory information are located on this section. As a result of this the hard disk is rendered useless.

Infection strategy 

Michelangelo has the following infection routine:

  • It is transmitted to the computer when it is started from a floppy disk that is infected with this virus.
  • Then, Michelangelo goes memory resident. The virus occupies 2048 Bytes of the TOM (Top of memory).
  • From the memory, Michelangelo infects all the floppy disks used on the computer.
  • In order to do this, it hooks the interrupts that have access to floppy disks. 
  • Michelangelo moves the original sector of the hard disk (from sector 0, side 1, cylinder 0 to sector 7, side 0, cylinder 0).

Means of transmission 

Michelangelo spreads through floppy disks, in the following way:

  • It infects the hard disk of the computer when it is booted from a floppy disk that is infected with this virus.
  • It infects all the floppy disks used in the affected computer. These floppy disks will then infect other computers.

Further Details  

Here are some additional interesting facts about Michelangelo:

  • Michelangelo belongs to the Stoned family or group of viruses.
  • Its trigger date, March 6th, was the birthday of the famous Italian artist, Michelangelo (Mar. 6, 1475). That is the reason for its name.


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