Fizzled out computer Viruses leave a lasting impact in the IT world ~ Blog, PC Care 247 Tech Support Redefined

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Fizzled out computer Viruses leave a lasting impact in the IT world

Antivirus Support
Not all viruses are bad!! For the present security scenario is in reality an offshoot of fizzled out viruses etching a solid foundation for inception of new age security systems and applications. Yes, even though nowhere near the potency level of the Sasser, MyDoom or Storm Worm, these viruses were developed with the sole aim of creating a self-replicating program rather than one leading to a data loss.

Brought to life in 1971 by BBN employee Bob Thomas, the creeper virus is considered as the very first example of a computer worm. Self-replicating in nature and non-destructive to data, Creeper was initially designed for testing the effectiveness of any code. Technically not considered to be a virus due to its rather passive nature, Creeper never ever ended up taking advantage of an exploit on the DEC PDP-10 TENEX systems it came into contact with.

Elk Cloner
Discovered in 1981 by Rich Skrenta, the Elk Cloner is considered to be the world’s first boot sector virus. The virus was first discovered in floppy disks used for booting up the OS, thus leaving it highly vulnerable to attacks. And from here on at any point in time, if a user was to end up booting the OS from an infected floppy, the virus eventually ended up copying itself into a computer’s memory. Whilst the code was not malicious in its orientation, the user would always end up seeing a poem on the 50th boot. Another first scored by the virus was not only did it specifically target the boot sector but it also ended up spreading itself in the wild i.e. outside an environment it was originally written in.

Amongst the very first computer virus to be written in 1986 for MS-DOS, the Brain ended up affecting floppy disks, more specifically the boot sector of the DOS File Allocation Table (FAT). It did so by moving the real boot sector elsewhere and marking it as “bad”. Once done, a copy of the virus replaced the real boot sector but hard drives were specifically avoided.

Another first, the SCA was written in 1987 by the “Swiss Cracking Association” or “Mega-Mighty SCA”. The group mostly specialized in removing copy protection from floppies and enabling the SCA target the boot sector of write-enabled disks. The virus not only affected write-enabled floppies but also ruined custom boot blocks used by games. The SCA virus eventually also led the same group to release a first of its kind Amiga virus scanner for removing the infection.

Morris Worm
With a source code preserved on a dusty floppy in the Boston Museum of Science, the Morris Worm is amongst the most famous outbreaks in history – overtly due to a mistake made by its author. In fact, the Morris worm was the first to spread via the Internet and was known to exploit known vulnerabilities in the UNIX operating system. The worm discovered in 1988 in spite of not being considered to be malicious tried to gather information about the size of the Internet. But then what made the worm such an issue was its method of spreading, re-infecting every 1 in 7 PC claiming to be already infected.

Leap, also sometimes known as the Oompa-Loompa virus was the first to infect Apple’s cherished OS. Not a full-blown outbreak, the virus didn’t get transferred via Internet. At the same time, it also ended up proving no matter how tight the security is there are always going to be potential vulnerabilities. Leap as a virus would always be considered to amongst low threat viruses, albeit at the same time a world-changing one.


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  3. Thanks for your comment Buddy!! Take Care.

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