What are the computer virus inventors called

Computer Viruses - History and Outlook

In cybersecurity, there are few terms better known than “computer virus”. However, despite the prevalence of these threats and their widespread impact, many users do not know what exactly they are dealing with. Below is a brief history of computer viruses and an outlook for this widespread cyber threat.

Theory of self-replicating automata

What is a computer virus? The idea was first discussed during a series of lectures given by mathematician John von Neumann in the late 1940s. 1966 followed the publication of the article Theory of Self-Reproducing Automata. The article was effectively a thought experiment speculating whether it was for a mechanical "organism" such as a human body. B. computer code, it is possible to damage machines, copy itself and infect new hosts - just like a biological virus.

The "Creeper" program

Often considered the first virus, the Creeper program was created in 1971 by BBN's Bob Thomas, according to Discovery. Creeper was originally developed as a security test to find out if a self-replicating program was possible. Was it - more or less. However, with each new infected hard drive, Creeper tried to delete itself from the previous host. Creeper had no malicious intent, just displayed a simple text message: “I AM THE CREEPER. CATCH ME IF YOU CAN!"

The "Rabbit" virus

According to InfoCarnivore, the "Rabbit" (or Wabbit) virus was developed in 1974. He had harmful intentions and could duplicate himself. As soon as it got to a computer, it made multiple copies of itself, reduced system performance significantly, and ultimately caused the device to crash. The speed of replication gave the virus its name.

The first trojan

The first Trojan was called ANIMAL (although there is some debate as to whether this was really a Trojan or just another virus) and was developed by computer programmer John Walker in 1975, according to Fourmilab. Back then, programs that attempted to guess which animal the user was thinking about based on 20 questions were very popular. The version that Walker had developed was in great demand, and in order to send the game to your friends, you had to create and deliver magnetic tapes. To simplify this process, Walker created the PERVADE subroutine, which was automatically installed alongside ANIMAL. While playing, PERVADE examined all computer directories available to the user and put a copy of ANIMAL in all directories where it was not already there. Although there was no malicious intent here, the behavior of ANIMAL and PERVADE fits the definition of a Trojan: Another program was hidden in ANIMAL that carried out actions without the consent of the user.

The boot sector virus "Brain"

Brain, the first PC virus, infected the first 5.25-inch floppy disks in 1986. As Securelist reports, this was the work of the two brothers Basit and Amjad Farooq Alvi, who ran a computer shop in Pakistan. Tired of customers making illegal copies of their software, they developed Brain, which replaced the boot sector of floppy disks with a virus. The virus, which was also the first virus to work unnoticed, contained a hidden copyright message but did not destroy any data.

The "LoveLetter" virus

The advent of reliable and fast broadband networks in the early 21st century changed the way malware was spread. It was no longer tied to floppy disks or corporate networks, but could be distributed quickly via email, popular websites, or even directly over the Internet. With this change, the malware evolved. The threat landscape now comprised various elements such as viruses, worms and Trojans. That is why the name “malware” was defined as a generic term for all malicious software. One of the most serious epidemics of this new era was the LoveLetter virus, which appeared on May 4, 2000.

As Securelist indicates, it also followed the pattern of earlier e-mail viruses, but in contrast to the macro viruses that had dominated the threat landscape since 1995, it did not appear in the form of an infected Word document, but rather as a VBS file. Distribution was simple and straightforward, and since users had not yet learned to be suspicious of unsolicited email, it worked. The subject line was “I Love You” and the email contained an attachment: the file “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs”. ILOVEYOU developer, Onel de Guzman, developed the worm to overwrite existing files and replace them with copies of themselves. This was how the worm was spread to all of the victim's email contacts. Since the messages were often from someone they knew, the likelihood that users would read the email increased, making ILOVEYOU a prime example of effective social engineering.