Computer viruses have been around for almost 50 years, and they can be found in every shape and size. The term “virus” didn’t come to usage until 1983, but viruses have been around a decade before that.
There are some viruses that are finding their way to the front pages of world known magazines, but today we are going to cover the viruses that played an influential role around the world and were one of the first of their kinds.
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Bob Thomas 1971 who was working for BBN probably wrote the very first example of a computer worm. The program was replacing the nature and non-destructive to data due to the purpose of testing the code which was set by Bob.
Creepier is technically not considered to be a virus because it is rather passive. Creepier didn’t take advantage of the system it came in close contact with, and was eventually stopped with a program named Reaper, which was specifically made for this purpose.
1981: Elk Cloner
A 15 years old Rich Skrenta managed to write a code which is considered to be the first boot sector virus, Elk Cloner, and it was designed for Apple 2. In that time, Apple 2 were using floppy discs to reach the OS of the computer, and once an infected floppy disc enters the computer, it’s immediately infected.
It is also considered as the first “in the wild” virus, as it could be spread even outside of the original program it was written for. This means that each floppy disc that entered the computer would be infected, and that disc can spread it to other computers. How smart for a 15 years old kid?
In 1986 MS-DOS received their first virus and it was a virus that affected floppy discs or if you want to go deeper it affected the DOS file of the disc called Allocation Table (FAT). It copied the file to another destination, named it “bad” and deleted the original file. It could be spread and do a little bit of damage around the computer, but hard drives were specifically avoided.
Some of you might have heard it with its other name, which is Oompa-Loompa virus, but it’s the same. Leap infected Apple’s Cherished OS X system.
The point of Leap was to prove the antivirus companies that no matter how strong the antivirus and security programs that they are making, there will always be a better antivirus. Because of these reasons, they made Leap not to be able to spread over the internet or any other physical way like CD, Floppy, USB or Cable.