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You can't put the computer virus genie back in the bottle
Monday, July 4, 2016
A new era of virus writing began when viruses started to be detected "in the wild"—on computers of unsuspecting users. The first such viruses were worms (i.e., they could spread across a network, unlike modern Trojans!) called Virus 1, 2, 3 and Elk Cloner. They were created in 1981 for Apple II—the prototype of the current Mac.
A 15-year-old schoolboy created Elk Cloner with no trouble at all—in those days, virus threats were dismissed and anti-viruses did not exist. However, the worm did not pose a serious threat to systems—it spread by replicating itself to floppy disks (have any of our readers ever seen floppy disks?:) and displayed a poem with the line: Elk Cloner “will stick to you like glue”.
Only a few years later, IBM PCs became extremely popular. And as PCs became more abundant, virus activity increased as well. So, the expanded use of computers impacted the distribution of viruses—and virus outbreaks began.
In 1987, a virus called “Brain”, which infected many computers around the world, caused the first epidemic. It was written by two Pakistani brothers who had the good intentions of trying to combat piracy. Their virus displayed a message asking users to contact the authors for the “antidote”. When the brothers were inundated with phone calls from all over the world, they realised the scale of what had happened.
The Anti-virus Times recommends
Now, many years after those events, computers and mobile devices are not just widespread, they are everywhere, and attackers use any and every opportunity to penetrate systems, damage them, and steal something of value. However, unlike the mid-1980s, to date, anti-viruses exist for all the popular operating systems. And, among anti-viruses, Dr.Web has one of the longest track records of success.
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