Kaspersky Lab reports the detection of a virus infecting applications created with Delphi

18 Aug 2009
Virus News

Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content management systems, reports detection of Virus.Win32.Induc.a, a virus that spreads via CodeGear Delphi, an integrated software development environment. Protection from the latest threat is already available in all Kaspersky Lab products. Virus.Win32.Induc.a takes advantage of the two-step mechanism used in the Delphi environment to create executable files. The source code is first compiled to produce intermediate .dcu (Delphi compiled unit) files, which are then linked to create Windows executables.

The new virus activates when an infected application is launched. It then checks whether Delphi development environment versions 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 or 7.0 are installed on the computer. If the software is detected, Virus.Win32.Induc.a compiles the Delphi source file Sysconst.pas, producing a modified version of the compiled file Sysconst.dcu.

Practically all Delphi projects include the string “use SysConst”, which means the infection of only one system module results in the infection of all applications under development. In other words, the modified SysConst.dcu file causes all subsequent programs created in the infected environment to contain the code of the new virus. The modified .pas file is no longer required and is deleted.

The virus is not currently a threat – there is no destructive behavior apart from infection. It is most probably intended for demonstration and testing of a new infection routine. The absence of a destructive payload, the infection of several versions of the popular instant messaging client QIP and the usual practice of publishing .dcu files by developers has already led to Virus.Win32.Induc.a becoming widespread throughout the world. It is very likely that in future it will be picked up and tweaked by cybercriminals to make it more destructive. Kaspersky Lab solutions successfully detect Virus.Win32.Induc.a and treat both compiled Delphi files and Windows executables.