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Happy Birthday viruses

by on15 March 2011

Malware becomes a 40 something
It is the 40th Birthday of the world's first computer virus. In the 1950s genius mathematician John Von Neumann in the early 50s worked out that it was possible to create a self replicating piece of computer code. However no one really took that seriously after all who wanted their in basket full with penis spam.

But in 1971, Bob Thomas, an employee of a company working on building ARPANET, the Internet’s daddy, managed to write a bit of code to do just that. It was all a bit of a laugh really. Creeper looked for a machine on the network, transfers to it, displays the message “I’m the creeper, catch me if you can!” and starts over, thereby hoping from system to system.

Of course the ARPANET person did not know that his proof of concept virus would prove that computer viruses and the Internet internet go together like love and marriage. Since Creeper was written malware instances have rocketed from 1,300 in 1990, to 50,000 in 2000, to over 200 million in 2010.

More here.

Last modified on 15 March 2011
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