Wow. When I first got online in the 90s, if you got a virus, your computer was dead - it would trash the hard drive or fry your CPU. Nowadays, viruses are all about stealth and information theft but it looks like one virus writer has gone "old school". The good news is that if it does go after the hard drive, it's basically destroying the table of contents and not the entire book so data recovery is pretty likely. If the user is not an administrator (rare in residential PCs), it will encrypt files and those are lost.
The infection, by the way, currently comes via an email attachment.
Researchers have uncovered new malware that takes extraordinary measures to evade detection and analysis, including deleting all hard drive data and rendering a computer inoperable.
Rombertik, as the malware has been dubbed by researchers from Cisco Systems' Talos Group, is a complex piece of software that indiscriminately collects everything a user does on the Web, presumably to obtain login credentials and other sensitive data. It gets installed when people click on attachments included in malicious e-mails. Talos researchers reverse engineered the software and found that behind the scenes Rombertik takes a variety of steps to evade analysis. It contains multiple levels of obfuscation and anti-analysis functions that make it hard for outsiders to peer into its inner workings. And in cases that main yfoye.exe component detects the malware is under the microscope of a security researcher or rival malware writer, Rombertik will self-destruct, taking along with it the contents of a victim's hard drive.