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ANTI VIREN KIT II by Richard Karsmakers

G-Data Goons

The development of my own virus killer, the "Atari ST Virus
Killer" (formerly known as "Virus Destruction Utility") was
started at the end of 1987, and as the program grew to be semi-
commercial, in the spring of 1988, a copy was also bought by a
German company called G-Data. Nothing was wrong with that, of
course.
Some time later, in June to be more precise, I got one of their
products (an original copy!), which was infected by the "Signum"
bootsector virus. I warned them immediately by phone, and they
immediately ordered the latest available "Atari ST Virus Killer"
update.
Still nothing wrong, or was there?
Some weeks later I read an advertisement in a German magazine.
This company was now also selling a virus killer of their own! I
got my hands on this virus killer, and what did I behold? They
had totally ripped off my latest virus killer version (using all
my research and bootsector recognition bytes - 100% identical!)
without even having the decency of asking me if that was allowed!
And the worst thing: They sold their program at almost four times
the price of my own viruskiller!
I called them again, and told them that I had seen something
that I didn't really like. They bluntly admitted what they had
done, and told me that I could sue them if I wanted to. "I would
probably not have ONE leg to stand on in court", they were glad
to inform me.
My address was thrown off their review list. I threw their
address off my viruskiller update list.
On May 18th, I contacted Tarik Ahmia (ex-editor and now
correspondent of "ST Magazin/68000'er") and he told me that he
might have some interesting news for me. I had told him about
eight months ago that G-Data weren't the most perfect guys to
hang around with, since they had ripped off my program. Now, he
told me that G-Data had ran into some legal trouble with regard
to a chess program they sold under license of a company called
Galactik, as well as with regard to their "Anti Viren Kit".
G-Data was accused of selling illegal copies of the chess
program - they had bought 100 copies and had sold 2000 (!). They
had also made a version of the program that was twice as
expensive - but that was exactly the same except for a version
number (1.1 instead of 1.0). Further, I was told that G-Data had
deliberately spread viruses on their software and that they had
even written their "Anti Viren Kit" in such a way that it didn't
recognize certain viruses (to assure that the virus problem would
continue).
On May 23rd, I contacted Mr. Wisotzki, the police officer in
charge of the investigations against G-Data. I told him that
there were some more things that G-Data had done wrong - I
mentioned the fact that they had ripped off my program, and that
I had indeed found a virus on an official program of theirs that
I once got.
Mr. Wisotzki told me more about what G-Data had done wrong. He
even suspected G-Data's "Anti Viren Kit" of SPREADING viruses
under specific conditions. I replied that even those G-Data guys
wouldn't be SO ultimately stupid, and I still think that the
latter is a misunderstanding (please tell me: Which viruskiller
has never been accused of spreading viruses? Even mine has!).
I closed down the conversation with assuring him that I would do
whatever I could do to help him - sign statements, etc.
Later that day, I called Mr. Dörnenburg of Galactik. At first he
didn't believe who I was: He thought I was a fake person and that
I in fact was someone working at G-Data. He had been contacted
several times already by fictitious persons that later turned out
to work for (or actually BE) G-Data. This sounds more like a
James Bond movie instead of the software world, I can assure you!
Anyway, I am glad I succeeded in convincing Mr. Dörnenburg. He
confirmed the things I had heard earlier, and even told me that
G-Data had ripped them off earlier as well.
Some time ago, they were designing a 16-bit MIDI sound sampler.
G-Data was interested in the thing, and encouraged development.
When Galactik eventually finished the design and sent it to G-
Data, they appeared no longer to be interested.
Now, G-Data is working on an identical concept with another
company.
If people start talking about unethical behaviour in the
software world, I henceforth usually come up with this story.

The Virus Killer

Instead of the usual introductory novella that I generally write
for reviews, I considered the above story to be much more juicy -
also because it is actually TRUE and it is a nice way of getting
even with (excuse my choice of words) those ultimate suckers.
It is interesting to know that I made this review with an
illegal copy of the program (Ha! You don't think I am actually
going to buy a program that is a rip-off of my own stuff, do
you?!). I had more reasons for that, anyway, since G-Data threw
me off the review list and nobody in his right state of mind
would buy a DM 99 viruskiller (would you?).

First, let's have a look at the statistics when compared with,
let's say, the "Virus Destruction Utility" (now "Atari ST Virus
Killer" or "AVK"). It recognizes 18 bootsector viruses, for
example. Mine recognizes 27. They recognize 4 link viruses. I
recognize 5. They can repair 43 innocent bootsectors. Mine can do
that with 184.
Need I say more?
No. That's what I guessed. I didn't want to write a review about
it anyway - I just wanted to write down the bit at the start.
So I won't give any rating, either.

Disclaimer
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.