It could very well be the second example (W32.CIH being the first) of a trojan that can physically damage hardware.
Overheating GPUs can lead to premature failure as I found out, even as little as 10% over spec long term can make that GPU last say three years instead of four before it shows problems.
A lot of people now are spending extra to add temperature feedback to their $900 cards to prevent this, in fact OCZ sells a kit to do just that.
disclaimer: I don't work for them. Yet. :-)