The Digital Age is not Ending Anytime Soon. Protect Yourself while you can"The Digital Age is not Ending Anytime Soon. Protect Yourself while you can"
In modern days, the term virus confuses us if introduced without any context. Same was the case when it was introduced to a group of university students in Pennsylvania in 1983 in the context of computing.
It sounded like grave absurdity, i.e. use of a word of biological origin in computers, which of-course did not respire. The first personal computers were only a couple years old, and IBM and Apple led the way into the infancy.
On same day, when a graduate student of University of South California, inserted a disk into the mainframe computer, the attendees noted how a code hidden in a Unix program installed itself and took control in a few minutes, replicating and spreading to other connected machines, similar to a biological virus.
Chapters from the History
The Self-Replicating Automata Theory: The idea of computer virus was first
discussed in a series of lectures by mathematician John von Neumann in the late 1940s and a paper published in 1966, without the use of a computer.
Von Neumann's goal, as specified in his lectures at the University of Illinois in 1949, was to design a machine whose complexity could grow automatically to damage machines, copy itself and infect new hosts, just like a biological virus under natural selection.
The Creeper Worm: The Creeper worm, an experimental self-replicating program written by Bob Thomas at BBN Technologies, Cambridge, Massachusetts (originally Bolt Beranek and Newman), is generally considered the first computer virus.
Creeper infected DEC PDP-10 computers running the TENEX operating
system. Creeper gained access via the ARPANET and copied itself to the
remote system where the message, "I'm the creeper, catch me if you can!" was displayed. The Reaper program was created to delete Creeper".
The Rabbit Virus (Fork bomb attack): In a fork bomb attack, self-replicating child processes consume system resources, blocking legitimate programs from running and preventing the creation of any new processes. During an attack, keyboard inputs (e.g., logout attempts) are ignored, essentially locking the system.
The system needs to be re-started, and data-loss is almost inevitable. Trojans
A Trojan, or a Trojan horse, is a type of malware that disguises itself as a real content to dupe a user into thinking it's a legit file.
The term Trojan Horse first appeared in a 1974 US Air Force report, which
documented all of the ways a computer system could presumably be
Named on the wooden horse used to sack Troy in the Trojan War, the "payload" carried by a Trojan is unknown to the user, but it can act as a delivery vehicle for a variety of threats.
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The First Trojan: A game, Animal-Pervade, where the user was asked to think of an animal, and the game tried to guess that animal, but once installed on a system, it would run a virus onto that same system.
To be noted, was no malicious intent here, but ANIMAL and PREVADE fit the definition of a Trojan because, the Hiding inside ANIMAL was another program that carried out actions without the user's approval.
Boot sector viruses
The Brain boot sector virus (also known as Pakistani flu), considered the first IBM
PC compatible to attack MS-DOC, called Brain, was written in 1986 by brothers
Basit Farooq Alvi and Amjad Farooq Alvi from Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.
Computer systems are typically infected by these viruses when started with
infected floppy disks- the boot attempt does not have to be successful for the
virus to infect the computer hard drive.
The virus infects the boot sector of media formatted in the File Allocation Table (FAT) file system.
The virus, which was also the first stealth virus, contained a hidden copyright
message, but did not actually corrupt any data.
Love Letter Virus: The Love Letter Virus, also known as " ILOVEYOU virus " was a computer virus originating in the Philippines.
It began infecting computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system on May 5, 2000.
It comes in an email with "ILOVEYOU" in the subject line, and contains an attachment, once executed, the script then e-mails itself to everyone in the victim's contact list, edits the Windows registry to execute the worm at startup, and replaces the data in many computer files, including MP3, JPEG images and Word documents with replicas of itself.
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The Evolution of Viruses
Cryptolocker Virus: The CryptoLocker ransomware attack occurred between
September 5, 2013, and late May 2014. It was identified as a Trojan that targeted computers running several versions of the Windows operating system.
CryptoLocker fooled targets into downloading malicious attachments sent via
Once a system is infected, the removal of CryptoLocker becomes a difficult task
as the virus finds and encrypts files located within shared network drives, USB
drives, external hard drives, network file shares and even some cloud storage
Cryptolocker was not like a virus, because, Unlike viruses and worms,
CryptoLocker couldn't make copies of itself. To infect additional victims, the cybercriminals behind it made use of the now-notorious Gameover ZeuS botnet.
By the time its key was readily available in the market, the CryptoLocker had
successfully extracted Millions of Dollars from the victims.
These Viruses and malwares have been around us since even before the infancy of personal computers, and with the advancement of technologies, they have evolved only to be more undetectable.
Since, we live in the digital age of Data and Information, every single domain of our life is coupled to the web more than ever.
We need to fend ourselves against these attacks, and Norton360 gives you round the clock protection.
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