October 31, 2001 10:30 AM PST

Powerpuff DVD packs viral punch

The latest DVD featuring cartoon sensation "The Powerpuff Girls" may boast fun games for young PC users, but three computer programs on the disc have also been infected by the "FunLove" virus, CNET News.com has learned.

Warner Bros. confirmed Wednesday that the "Meet the Beat Alls" disc, released a week ago by Warner Home Video, has been recalled because the DVD spreads the "FunLove" computer virus to any PC that installs the supplemental software.

Several customers who bought the disc reported the problem in an online forum, after their antivirus software identified the stowaway program as FunLove. Three programs on the disc are apparently infected, including the installer. The virus only affects PCs that load the disc, not DVD players.

The virus was first discovered in November 1999 and is known for its ability to infect Windows NT servers--in addition to computers running Windows 95, Window 98 and Windows Me--by posing as a system program.

The virus also spreads automatically throughout a network via any hard drives shared with the infected system. The program modifies system and applications files and can cause instability. Major antivirus software has detected FunLove since November 1999.

Warner isn't the only company for which the virus has spoiled the fun.

Last April, Microsoft may have infected several of its Premiere and Gold customers when FunLove spread to a key server for the support service.

Despite being almost 2 years old, the FunLove virus still seems to be alive and well. Antivirus company Trend Micro lists the computer virus at No. 7 in its latest top-10 list of infectious code.

A Warner representative said the virus had somehow infected the DVD's master at the company that duplicates the discs, but Warner did not know how many discs had been affected and whether other DVDs might carry the virus as well.

All copies of the disc have been destroyed, said the Warner Home Video representative, and copies sent out to press and retailers have been recalled.

The "Powerpuff Girls" disc includes several games, an exclusive cartoon, and various links that all can be used if the DVD is played on a PC.

 

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