Computer Viruses – Where Did They Come From Anyways?

by July 1, 2013 0 comments

On a personal count, it must have been definitely traumatic if you have faced a virus attack on your PC/laptop. Recovering the lost data must have taken a great amount of time and effort.  If you have not encountered a virus attack on your PC or laptop then luck is surely on your side.

Computer Virus

Computer viruses have been around for quite some time now and even today are known to create quite a ruckus. It was in the year 1949 when John von Neumann put forth his theory of self replicating programs. The following two decades witnessed the launch of UNIX and ARPANET.  In 1983, the term “computer virus” was coined by Fred Cohen of the University of Southern California. It referred to a computer program which could affect other programmes by modifying them and include a copy of itself on to the modified program.

The first PC virus “The Brain” was released from Pakistan in the year 1986 while in 1988, a virus created by Robert Morris, 23 attacked nearly 6000 ARPANET computers.  To counteract, Symantec came up with Norton Anti-Virus software in the year 1991.

Hijacking nearly 500 military and government computers was accomplished by two California based teenagers in the year 1998. This attack revealed how vulnerable computers and vital information is to virus attacks.

A virus called “Melissa” was created in 1999 which could spread through email messages. The Melissa virus was capable of replicating itself to top 50 email addresses in the recipient’s email list. Melissa’s creator David L. Smith received a 20-month imprisonment.

Most viruses carry appealing names which have successfully compelled users to click on them for instance the I Love You  (year 2000) virus which was successful in infecting millions of computers in a day while a virus named Anna Kournikova (year 2001) was written using a toolkit. The Anna Kournikova virus would equip even the fresh programmers with virus creating capabilities.

The year 2001 witnessed the Code Red virus threat to the White House website and caused damage of more than $2 billion by infecting thousands of computers. Yet another virus called Nimda successfully hit the Internet in the same year. In 2003, Slammer was a fast moving virus which affected a large number of computers in less than 3 hours while delaying the airline flight services on a global scale. Lastly, MyDoom virus, an email virus was claimed to be the fastest spreading one but could not cause further damage.

Fortunately, with the launch of highly expert and sophisticated antivirus and firewall systems, powerful viruses have not been able to strike with great intensity especially after the year 2004. If your PC/laptop has not yet been attacked by viruses, then luck is definitely on your side.  But, it pays to be on guard. Do be quick enough to safeguard your PC/laptop and data by installing powerful anti-virus software on them.







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