Zip of Death or Zip Bomb is a simple looking zip archive which contains a very big file highly compressed. On expanding or unzipping this tiny archive occupies Several Gigabytes of your Hard Disk space. And if you by mistake double-click that file inside the archive to extract it, your system will hang and even crash. That’s why it is called Zip of Death.
How is it created?
The construction of Zip of Death is simple. You can have a simple text file which contains only NULL characters and compress it into a zip file using WinRar or any other archiving software. After zipping that text file, you will see that size has been reduced a lot. You can call it a highly compressed archive.
What is a NULL character?
A NULL character is like any other character that you type using keyboard on your computer. It looks like a space. It is a special character, which is not available on keyboard. But you can enter a null character by using the combination of keys — you can press Alt+255 on keyboard to enter one NULL character. Open Notepad and press and hold Alt key and enter 255 using numeric keys and then release Alt key, this will enter a space on your notepad.
How to Create a Zip of Death?
This tutorial shows a simple method to make a Zip of Death or Zip Bomb. This can crash your own system if you mistakenly opened it up. You will require to install WinRar or any other archiving software to create zip archive. So be cautious and follow these steps-
First open Notepad. Press Windows Key + R to launch RUN utility, then type notepad in it and press Enter.
Notepad will open.
In notepad, enter a NULL character. Press and hold Alt key and press 255 and release Alt key. This will print one NULL character. Alternatively you can use SPACE.
Enter few more NULL characters or SPACEs using Keyboard. Now you can select all these characters and simply copy and paste to make file bigger in size.
You can save it in any folder. I saved it in a folder named Zip Bomb on the Desktop. Give it a name and click Save.
Now, make copies of this text file. Make as much copies as you can. For example, I have created around 100 copies of same file.
We will now copy content of all these small files into one file. For that we are going to use Command Prompt. To open Command Prompt, press Windows Key + R, type cmd and press Enter.
In CMD, Navigate to the folder where you have saved your text files and it’s copies. For Example, my Zip Bomb directory in on Desktop, so I can navigate to it using following command.
cd "Desktop\Zip Bomb"
Once you are in that directory, type following command to copy content of all text files, into single text file.
copy /b *.txt a.txt
|copy||Used to copy files or folders|
|/b||Used to copy binary content of files|
|*.txt||Copies all text files of current directory|
|a.txt||Copy all the content in a new file with name a.txt|
Command Prompt will start copying content of all text files into one file.
Now, minimize CMD, delete all text files except newly created a.txt file. And again make copies of newly created a.txt file and using command prompt copy content of all those files into one file. Let’s say it’s named as b.txt .
HERE YOU MUST BE CAREFUL!!! DON’T OPEN THIS TEXT FILE, OTHERWISE YOUR OWN PC WILL CRASH.
You can make this file even more bigger by repeating this process. YOU MUST NOT OPEN THIS FILE AS IT MAY CRASH YOUR SYSTEM. You can see the size of this b.txt file is around 1.3GB. You can make even larger file if you wish.
Time to zip it up. Right-click on b.txt and select Add to archive…
This option appears only when you have installed WinRar. You can Download it from here.
Provide a name for your archive, click on Zip in formats of archive and click OK to create a zip archive.
As you click OK, your large text file will be compressed into a zip file.
Now, check size of newly created zip file, it’s amazingly small in size.
You can make size of this archive even more smaller by re-zipping it.
Now, your Zip Bomb is ready. You must be careful enough not to open it yourself. You can play prank on your friends. Just send this file to them, in pendrive or by any other means. You can change the name of text file to some lucrative name that can attract victim to click on it. Once he clicks on it, it will start extracting and Boom! System will hang and crash! Be generous to your friends and ask them to save all their work before opening this file.
Feel free to write your problems and suggestions in comments.