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A small shortcut caused Windows98 to crash and malfunction



Cause of the matter: a strange email
I received emails as usual that day. An interesting email caught my attention. The sender recommended a website to me and It is stated that for safety please check before opening. The attachment is 'Newdown.url' (for example) the size is 0KB and it seems that it should be a link to a website. It may be that its security prompt made me 'moved'. Instead of clicking to open the URL shortcut I chose to save it on the desktop to view its properties. However when I click the [Show Desktop] button in the taskbar after saving the system displays a blue screen. After pressing the space twice I return to the desktop. You can see that the URL shortcut has been saved on the desktop but the system is still in If there is no response pressing the hot start button will not work so I have to use the system reset button to force restart the system. An even stranger thing happened. When the desktop icon was displayed just after the system started the system immediately had a blue screen and crashed and this was the case for multiple restarts.
Analysis results: It is all the shortcut to the fault
After receiving the email I did not do any other operations but saved the shortcut on the desktop and clicked the [Display Desktop] button. There is no possibility of causing the system The operation crashes it seems that the problem lies in this shortcut.
The e-mail that caused trouble reveals the mystery: Shortcut kills Windows 98
The shortcut causes the Windows 98 blue screen. It's not that this shortcut hides some virus but it triggers a serious system vulnerability. We know that there are three shortcuts for Windows the extensions are LNK PIF URL. LNK is the most common Windows application shortcut PIF is an application shortcut under DOS and URL is a URL link shortcut. URL files are in plain text format and LNK and PIF files are binary files. All three shortcuts can customize the icon file. However due to the device name resolution vulnerability in Windows when the shortcut icon file name is set as the default device name of Windows the Windows 95/98 system can crash. Since the search for icons is automatically completed by Explorer as long as the shortcut appears in the resource browser the system will crash. More seriously if the shortcut appears on the desktop the system will crash as soon as it starts. Let's make an example to verify it.
Show file extensions
First click [View]→[Folder Options]→[View] tab in the Explorer remove the 'Hide Extensions of Known File Types' Check mark (such as). Then create a new text file Newdown.txt (be careful not to create it on the desktop) double-click to open this file enter the following content (such as) the last piece of code is to set the icon file to point to the default device name of Windows.

Save and exit press [F2] to rename the Newdown.txt file and enter the new file name Newdown.url. When you finish typing letters and press Enter to change the name the system will display a blue screen and crash . After restarting the computer as long as you open the directory where the Newdown.url file is located in the Explorer the system must have a blue screen. If you don’t open this directory there is no problem. Of course if you just created the file on the desktop it will fail. Serious problem with startup. In addition changing the file name to Newdown.lnk and Newdown.pif can also cause a blue screen but these two shortcut names are more deceptive than URL shortcuts.
This vulnerability does not exist in Windows NT/2000/XP operating systems.
Solution: Don't randomly receive files including shortcuts!
If the root cause is found the problem will be solved. Just delete the shortcut that caused the vulnerability. If you did not save it on the desktop you can restart the system click the start menu and select to enter the MS-DOS command line enter the directory where the shortcut file is saved and delete the file with the Del command. Of course if you save it directly on the desktop you will not be able to enter the system. You can only boot to the real DOS mode to delete the file. In addition if you have installed the Windows NT/2000/XP operating system you can also delete the shortcut file after switching to another system.
Of course in addition to mail transmission there are other transmission methods such as sending files via QQ. In a word: do not accept any attachments sent by strangers even if it is a URL shortcut! (End) Computer Basic Tutorial Network?Little Warcraft ushered in version update cross-server battlefield upgraded again

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