Contents of the ALERT.TXT file
A L E R T !
This software and documentation are protected under
the U.S. copyright law, Title 17, USC. Unauthorized
reproduction by any means, sales, bundling, or any
other unauthorized distribution other than as stated
herein are in violation of the copyright law. Persons
infringing on the author's rights may be prosecuted!
The author makes no warranties, either expressed or
implied, with respect to this software or accompanying
documentation. Under no circumstances shall the author
be liable for any incidental or consequential damages
to other software, hardware, loss of data, or loss of
business opportunity resulting from any defect or misuse
of this software or documentation. The total responsi-
bility for its use and performance rests solely with the
user. This entire package is provided "AS IS."
This text file is not intended to serve as the full
ALERT! manual. Instead, this file is intended to
provide a quick introductory to using ALERT! Upon
registering, users receive complete documentation which
explains the theory of operation and many different
protection strategies which can be followed using ALERT!
ALERT! works by recording the "state" of specified files
in a "list file." Each time ALERT! is asked to check a
file or group of files, it compares the current state
with that recorded in the list. Should a discrepancy be
found, the user is notified so appropriate action may be
Each "list file" can keep checks on up to 200+ files
(depending on memory available). There is no limit to
the number of list files the user may wish to build.
You may also set up list files which check other list
files! There is no limit to this type of nesting.
By protecting system files (e.g., COMMAND.COM,
AUTOEXEC.BAT, CONFIG.SYS, etc), the user can be secure
that any changes to them will be spotted on the very
next ALERT! check. Therefore, checking should be a
standard part of the power-on sequence. For example,
place a line such as the following in your AUTOEXEC.BAT
This calls the command-line version of ALERT! to check
the list file RWR4089. Of course, in order to tax a
virus' capability to detect the presence of ALERT!, you
may rename either or both of the executable programs to
whatever you please. Finally, you may include any number
of "dummy" command line parameter switches; e.g., the
above example could become:
EDIT /r /l RWR4089 /b /check
This assumes ALERT_ME.EXE had been renamed to EDIT.EXE.
Note that the parameter switches ( /r, /l, /b, /check )
are ignored by ALERT!. The only valid switch is /M
which forces ALERT! to come up in monochrome mode, even
if it did not automatically detect mono. Use of the
dummy switches simply provides additional masking of
ALERT! from an intelligent virus.
WHY ANOTHER VIRUS CHECKER?
I created ALERT! primarily for 2 reasons. First, I
wanted to be sure that the virus checker was not itself
infected. Second, I wanted something that others could
use with little difficulty but still provide varying
levels of protection.
While there are a number of good checkers out there,
they all seem to suffer from either being too complex for
novice users, being memory resident (requiring some of
the precious 640k), or simply of questionable
By controlling the distribution of ALERT! directly, I
can ensure users will receive only a NONINFECTED
version. By presenting ALERT! as shareware, I can offer
protection to virtually everyone. There is no need to
spend $150 to $300 for the commercial programs when all
you need is reliable protection. While some of these
may offer an ability to remove the virus when detected,
I wouldn't take such a chance. I'll bet you wouldn't
The following files should be included in the archive:
ALERT.EXE Integrated version
ALERT_ME.EXE Command line version
ALERT.TXT This text file
1. Decide upon a name for your list file. I recommend
the following: Use your initials followed by the last
four digits of your social security number; e.g.,
C:\RWR4089. This prevents the list file from being
easily spotted by an intelligent virus while making it
easy to remember.
2. Copy the ALERT! programs to your hard drive,
somewhere on the path. Rename them if you desire.
3. Edit your AUTOEXEC.BAT file to include the call for
the command line version of ALERT!, ALERT_ME (or
whatever you have renamed it to) and the name of the
file list you decided upon in step 1. (The file list
has not yet been created.) Remember to include the drive
and path if it will not be stored in the root directory
as well as any "dummy" switches you wish to use.
4. Call the interactive version of ALERT!, ALERT (or
whatever new name you gave it in step 2).
5. Begin "ADDING" files to be protected. Please note
the screen instructions and messages for use of help,
the directory, and viewing the list. After a file is
added you will be asked whether the file should be
automatically checked. You definitely should mark all
system files for auto-check. These are the files which
will be checked by the command line version of ALERT! in
your AUTOEXEC.BAT file.
6. Continue adding all desired files. Suggest, as a
minimum the following be included for auto-check:
7. Save the file list as the name you decided upon in
8. Exit ALERT!.
9. Reboot and watch as each file is checked.
10. That's it!
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU GET AN ERROR
1. Ask yourself the following question: Did YOU change
the file in any way since it was added to the list?
This is why you placed the ALERT! command line in your
AUTOEXEC.BAT before creating the list file. If you are
the reason for the change, not to fear. Simply call the
interactive version of ALERT!, read in the list file,
remove the file from the list, add it back, then resave
the list. That will cause ALERT! to recompute the
internal checks. However, be sure you know the cause
for the change before doing this. Otherwise, you might
be insolating a virus from further detection.
2. If an error occurs which you are not responsible for
then there is a good probability your file has become
infected. DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER YET! You still
need to check the remaining files. Call up the
interactive version of ALERT!, read in the list file,
and check ALL files on the list. Make a note of any
which generate an error. Save the list file and exit
I'm sorry to say this, but the only SAFE way to rid
yourself of the infection is to remove (delete) the
infected files and restore them from your archive.
I am assuming you have your original program disks
in a safe place, only using them to create working
copies. Hopefully, you also made a copy of your
ALERT! file list when it was still clean. This will
add a measure of reassurance when you recheck your
files after restoring them.
If you are truly paranoid, as I would be if I found
such an infection, you may want to completely
reformat your hard disk before restoring from your
archives. Before you take such a drastic measure
though, you should copy any DATA files you have not
previously saved to a clean, non-system floppy
disk. Since data files do not execute, they are
safe from disastrous infection. By copying to a
non-system disk, you will not transfer any
infection with them. Once you have restored your
hard drive to a clean state, again protect your
files with ALERT! following the USAGE steps above.
Finally, copy the data files back. Now reboot and
watch ALERT! check your files. If no errors are
detected, you are again safe.
1. When you register you receive a guaranteed
uninfected copy of ALERT!. Although the odds are that
the version you got from your friend or the bulletin
board is not infected, the only way to be sure is to
know the source. Registered users receive the latest
version directly from the author.
2. You receive additional documentation. While this
text file provides enough information to fully utilize
ALERT!, it does not go into any detail on the various
virus' known, the multitude of protection strategies
which can be employed using ALERT!, any discussion of
levels of risks, how to ensure you start with a clean
system, or suggestions on backup procedures. The
complete ALERT! documentation covers these as well as
3. This is NOT a free program. It is provided free for
evaluation only. Once you have decided it meets your
needs, you are required to pay for it. It IS CHEAP
protection from otherwise disastrous consequences.
License Fees are as follows:
Individual user ......... $ 20.00
Use on all computers on which you are the
Corporate user .......... $150.00
Use on all corporate computers (site license).
Government user ......... FREE
Use in all government agencies, departments,
offices. Contact your MIS department for
distribution details. The author does not
provide individual distribution within the
government. You may elect either of the other
licenses above, however, if you cannot get a
copy through government channels.
Send check or money order for the proper license fee to:
ROBERT W. REED
425 Fairgreen Ave
Casselberry, Florida 32707
Turbo Source Search BBS ... (617) 545-9131
(c) 1988, Robert W. Reed, all rights reserved.