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Perry Smith

Computer Viruses

See this noteworthy effort to fight a virus. Whoever it is that set up this site, THANK YOU!


Have you ever wondered where the idea of computer viruses came from? Does the name John von Neumann ring a bell?

In 1949, at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, in a paper titled "Theory and Organization of Complicated Automata", von Neumann proposed that it was theoretically possible for a computer program to replicate. The paper included a model of a what is now known as a computer virus.

During the 1950s, at Bell Laboratories, H. Douglas McIlroy, Victor Vysottsky, and Robert Morris, Sr., developed a game known as Core Wars to test von Neumann's theory. The players of the game were to create programs that attacked, erased, and tried to propogate on an opponent's system.

In 1983 American electrical engineer Fred Cohen, at the time a graduate student, coined the term virus to describe a self-replicating computer program in his doctoral thesis.

In 1985 the first Trojan horses appeared, posing as a graphics-enhancing program called EGABTR and as a game called NUKE-LA. A host of increasingly complex viruses followed.

The so-called Brain virus appeared in 1986 and had spread worldwide by 1987.

In 1988 two new viruses appeared: Stoned, the first bootstrap-sector virus, and the Internet worm, which crossed the United States overnight via computer network. The Dark Avenger virus, the first fast infector, appeared in 1989, followed by the first polymorphic virus in 1990.

In 1995 the first macro language virus, WinWord Concept, was created. A macro language virus controls the functions of a legitimate program. It can infect any computer or operating system that can run the program.

To be continued (unfortunately)...

Vmyths.com- The Truth About Computer Virus Myths & Hoaxes

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VirusMonitor.com - The latest information on email viruses.

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A Short Course on Computer Viruses (Wiley Professional Computing) by Frederick B. Cohen