I know that files can be infected, but can a Folder itself have a virus/trojan?

  • You can put virus inside icons files of executable archives (like PE) if you find an exploitable buffer overflow. So the virus will trigger the file manager to launch the executable without asking just by the action of displaying the folder content. This require an excutable format wich is able to display icons. What you probbly want is to find a security exploit inside the filesystem driver.As most systems run FS inside the OS kernel, this will enable you to run code at ring 0 of the processor.It would allow to bypass all security restrictions and reading all process VM's (security keys). Jan 2 '15 at 1:32

Not to my knowledge you can play around in the registry and make it so when a user opens a folder the computer will execute a file.

  • Thanks Tim, that's interesting. I will have a play around with that one day.
    – jay_t55
    Jan 1 '15 at 13:16
  • As far I know, this would only work on windows and ecomstation. Jan 2 '15 at 1:34
  • Yes. I think it would be possible to do this on linux also as linux is very flexible. You would probably need to recompile the desktop-environment or do some kernel programming...maybe inspect resources of file explorer when it is executed then try to reverse engineer resources and put in some malicious code.
    – Tim Jonas
    Jan 2 '15 at 6:44

The closest I can find is from Windows 95 to XP where there's the HTML.Redlof.A script virus.

the virus infects the Windows Operating System's web-view template file of each folder (folder.htt) that works each time you open a folder, the virus spreads fast and is hard to remove.

  • 1
    That virus infects the files folder.htt and desktop.ini, not the folders themselves.
    – Mark
    Jan 1 '15 at 23:52
  • The effect is the same since these files are opened with the folder by the OS. Jan 2 '15 at 0:20

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