I got 200 computer CD games here and I think checking them for viruses would be inappropriate. Also, when I bought software on CD I was always sure there is no virus.

I wonder if there ever was software or a game containing a virus on the optical disc? If this happened by accident or with intent, it doesn't matter.

To not include home-brew software, I am only asking for pressed discs and not burned discs. Also I am only asking for real viruses (backdoor trojan horses) and not, for example, less harmful ad-showing software.

  • 61
    Do Sony rootkits count?
    – Justme
    Jan 21, 2023 at 15:23
  • 30
    @zomega It's not a virus but I disagree on the not harmful or dangerous part. The Sony rootkit had secutity holes which were exploited by other viruses and malware, also made the system unstable.
    – Justme
    Jan 21, 2023 at 15:51
  • 8
    @zomega The point was that the Sony rootkit was essentially the HIV/AIDS of malware. AIDS doesn't kill you, it's the suppression of your immune system and the secondary infections that do.
    – ssokolow
    Jan 21, 2023 at 16:52
  • 56
    The Sony rootkit only prevents you from copying the disc. Not so - the Sony rookit covertly installed kernel-mode software into the I/O stack. Definitely malware with intent. And then they lied about having removed it.
    – dave
    Jan 21, 2023 at 17:54
  • 30
    @another-dave: Not only that, but its "invisibility clock" made the system not only blind to it, but also to other forms of malware that would otherwise have been readily detected.
    – supercat
    Jan 21, 2023 at 19:01

3 Answers 3


Yes, for 'software'. The first hit on a search for 'cd-ro shipped with virus' (typo mine) got me this:

MS Solution Provider CD

Microsoft (MSFT) has shipped CD-ROMs infected with a little-known virus to nearly 10,000 software developers and trainers worldwide since September. The software giant said its Solution Provider CD, a disc provided to consultants who customize Microsoft software for business customers, has been infected with a new and little-known virus named Wazzu, which attaches itself to Microsoft Word documents. -- CNET, Oct. 23, 1996


Yes, it happened quite a few times.

Software added as covermount to computer magazines may sometimes not be secure. A fast-spreading medium, computer magazines can output over 10,000 discs in a matter of days. In the days before internet connections were commonplace, one of the fastest methods by which a computer virus could spread was to be included inadvertently on a coverdisc. Although discs are thoroughly scanned and carefully assembled, there have been cases of discs being distributed with viruses, damaging the credibility and reputation of the magazine. In several instances where viruses were spread this way, publications expressed that while the contents of the media were scanned by anti-virus software, the virus wasn't detected as the virus was too new. In 1998, cover discs released by both PC PowerPlay and PC Gamer were infected with the Marburg virus, which CNN Money stated caused the malware to become a "widespread threat". A MacAddict cover disc in 2002 contained the AutoStart worm.


Those covermount CD-ROMs were all pressed, burning them would not have been feasible in those numbers of copies.


Sega Dreamcast game "Atelier Marie" was a video game served as GD-ROM. It contained, however some extras as a screensaver which were meant to be read by a PC.

The developers weren't careful and got their development systems infected. The virus eventually got itself into the final build files and was set to be triggered by the screen saving program.

While the malicious code was harmless to the Dreamcast (having incompatible architecture from its targets) when being read and triggered by a PC it would wreck the system by erasing the BIOS, CMOS data and overwrite the HDDs.

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