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When I was in college, I remember IBM representatives trying to sell OS/2 Warp to students and teachers by saying that there were no (known) viruses for OS/2. (Of course, that didn't stop the makers of IBM AntiVirus for OS/2 and Norton AntiVirus for OS/2.)

The paper "The effect of computer viruses on OS/2 and Warp" (presented in September 1995 by John F. Morar and David M. Chess of the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center) mentions that there "are currently only two OS/2 viruses known to us."

Is there any reference that states how many native OS/2 viruses there were by the time IBM discontinued its support for OS/2 (on December 31, 2006)?

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    "Is there any reference that states" saves this from being a list question. Well-written, and probably a good question for this site! – wizzwizz4 Dec 25 '18 at 17:54
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    The anti-virus programs for OS/2 seem to have been intended for use on OS/2 servers which provided services to DOS or Windows machines. Catching viruses before they were served would have been valuable. – John Dallman Dec 25 '18 at 19:31
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The cited source from the question is the source for the English Wikipedia page as well, that claims that there are only very few known viruses for that system.

But the low amount of viruses seems to be much bigger.
Not two, but at least five viruses are well known. That's more than double.

Arelocs also known as Aep is one of a few viruses for IBM's OS/2 operating system. It is considered "the first known virus that affects OS/2 files in the 'right way'" as it writes itself to the file and modifies the NewEXE header and other system areas.

Type  File virus
Creator Mark Ludwig
Date Discovered 1995
Place of Origin Show Low, Arizona, USA
Source Language 
Platform    OS/2
File Type(s)    .dll, .exe

Jiskefet Jiskefet is a rare example of an OS/2 virus. It was coded by Masud Khafir, who named it after a Dutch comedy troupe.

Type    File virus
Creator Masud Khafir
Date Discovered 1994
Place of Origin The Netherlands
Source Language Assembly
Platform    OS/2
File Type(s)    .exe
Infection Length    2,048 bytes

Myname is an OS/2 virus. When executed, the virus infects OS/2 NewEXE files, overwriting them. While the virus has no malicious payload, the overwriting of the files damages them irreparably.

Type  File virus
Creator 
Date Discovered 1993.12
Place of Origin United States
Source Language 
Platform    OS/2
File Type(s)    .exe
Infection Length    2,048 bytes

Rexx is a virus for OS/2. Very little information is available about the virus. Our tests seem to show it overwrites files it infects.

Rexx is also the name of a scripting language. It predates OS/2 appearing in 1979 and it was the primary scripting language for that OS, along with Amiga and a few others.

Type  File virus
Creator 
Date Discovered 
Place of Origin 
Source Language 
Platform    OS/2
File Type(s)    .exe
Infection Length    38,620 bytes
Reported Costs  

Uxia is an OS/2 virus. All that seems to be known about it any more is that it is 7,200 bytes long and for IBM's OS/2.

Type  File virus
Creator 
Date Discovered 
Place of Origin 
Source Language 
Platform    OS/2
Infection Length    7,200 bytes
Reported Costs  

As we know there is something like IBM AntiVirus Version 2.5 running on OS/2. Advertised as:

So, tell me how does it work really?

In a nutshell, pretty darn well. Over the years as a network administrator, I have taken a few viruses prisoner. Since I found these in "the wild" I used them for my "live" testing. The FORM virus is probably the most common boot sector virus in the wild.

But what is FORM? A DOS virus:

Form is a boot sector virus from the 1990's. It often topped charts for the most common virus. Form was extremely long-lived, on the list of viruses in the wild up until 2006, 16 years after its initial release.

Type  Boot sector virus
Creator 
Date Discovered 1990.02
Place of Origin Zurich, Switzerland
Source Language Assembly
Platform    DOS
Infection Length    3 disk sectors
Reported Costs  

That seems to narrow down the viruses truly and specifically targeting OS/2 only to be quite small. But:

Dr. Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for OS/2 - by Noah Sumner (1997) If you are like the vast majority of OS/2 users you think you don't need an anti-virus program. We all know that DOS viruses can't affect OS/2, right? Wrong. The experts tell me that there are probably somewhere around 200 viruses that can and will affect you even if you are running OS/2 under HPFS. If you are running under FAT that number is much higher.

Well, at least none of them will really attack OS/2, right? Wrong again. There are currently three known viruses that are designed to attack OS/2 users only, and if Warp 4 is a success that number will start to rise.

Now you are probably saying, "Well, maybe I should protect myself from viruses." That is where our good friend from Dr. Solomon comes in to play. Why should you use Dr. Solomon's Anti-Virus for OS/2? Here are three good reasons:

it detects the OS/2 viruses (IBM's Anti-Virus doesn't) it has a nice PM interface it is truly 32 bit.

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    Thanks for the links to The Virus Encyclopedia and OS/2 e-Zine. – Joel Reyes Noche Dec 26 '18 at 1:15
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I have not found a reference, but here's a search for OS/2 on Trend Micro's virus encyclopedia. That finds 30 entries, some of which are actual OS/2 viruses, and some of which are interesting OS/2 security vulnerabilities.

It looks as if there are five OS/2 viruses in that list, but it's unknown if any of them are multiple names for the same virus, or virus variants. The number five also came up in the other answer: that may well be the total.

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