Home > Bugs & Viruses > A Brief History of Viral Time A Brief History of Viral Time Submitted by Jesuspower 2006-07-06 Bugs & Viruses 8 Comments “For about 20 years now we’ve been using the term computer viruses to describe self-replicating programs. Although such programs had previously been found on Apple computers, viruses entered the PC world in early 1986 with the Brain virus.” About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 8 Comments 2006-07-06 12:45 pm csynt I remember when I got my first Atari ST, it was a virus that inverted the mouse up/down … A friend of mine (electronics guru) was thought of a h/ware problem.. it opened the ST and managed to desolder the mouse buffer (a chip) just to check it!! LOL… 2006-07-06 12:48 pm jessta 20 years on and users still blindly trust any executable code they come across. 2006-07-06 1:18 pm elzurawka it will be interesting to see how the virus evolves after the release of Vista. Apple and Linux have managed to remain virtually Virus free, lets see if after a complete re-write, if MS can get it right this time too. They promiss better security, but this is not the first time that MS has gone back on a promiss(http://www.betanews.com/article/Microsoft_Axes_WinFS_Cancels_Beta_2…) Only time will tell. Luckly i wont be having any virus problems, or have i had to deal with a Virus for years now. Life is so much simpler without MS 2006-07-06 1:30 pm Ronald Vos To me, a virus is a piece of self-replicating software that that embeds itself in other software, be it the bootsector of a floppy, a .com file or a .doc file. A worm is, to me, a stand-alone program that replicates itself via a network. Same difference, except I’d term self-replicating trojans that transmit themselves through the mail viruses. Only programs that make use of open ports/buffer overflows in an OS or network-connected software I’d term worms, as they’re intriniscally different and don’t require user-intervention to trigger (with the Outlook preview-pane exploit you still had to select the mail to preview). It’s a more functional distinction, imho, even if pedantic. Other comments on the article: “The Cascade virus (1988) was the first encrypted virus, which made it difficult to alter or remove.” Encrypted viruses are harder to detect, not to remove. It also seems to mix up encryption and polymorphism: emulators are useful to counter encryption, to counter polymorphism you simply need to search for the polymorphic engine IIRC. (The emulator comes into play if the polymorphic engine is encrypted) MyDoom isn’t the fastest spreading worm to date: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samy_%28XSS%29 Also no mention of the East European scene, the animal worm (first worm ever, and non-malicious, on UNIVAC-11s), the DIR-I and DIR-II viruses, social-engineering, oligomorphism and metamorphism and especially the Metaphor virus which took metamorphism/polymorphism/encryption to a new level. But a nice introductory article I guess (and I do like the picture gallery!) Check out http://vx.netlux.org/exotic.php for some very interesting stuff. Edited 2006-07-06 13:38 2006-07-06 4:27 pm DigitalAxis I notice he didn’t mention some of the stranger viruses- the Cheese worm on UNIX machines that would patch machines it infected, or the more recent Welchia worm that according to Symantec downloads and installs service packs to prevent infection by other viruses. Granted, the Welchia worm also did some nasty things, but I just found virii like that curious. 2006-07-06 8:35 pm Kroc Those who write loud and destructive viruses are looked down at by the community. A real VXers goal is to create the ultimate silent virus that stays undetected and uses an inventive entry point. Destructive viruses are written by angry pent-up teenagers who are after fame; none of those attributes are attribituable to _real_ hackers (not crackers) 2006-07-06 5:52 pm rcsteiner Here’s a good reference: http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/univac/animal.html 2006-07-07 7:21 am Soulbender “Destructive viruses are written by angry pent-up teenagers who are after fame; none of those attributes are attribituable to _real_ hackers (not crackers)” _real_ hackers don’t write viruses. period.