Virus History – From the first virus to the latest viruses

1981 – Elk Cloner The first virus was created and spread across Apple II floppy disks.

The virus showed the following message on the screen.

It will get on all your disks.
It will infiltrate your chips.
Yes it’s Cloner!
It will stickto you like glue.
It will modify ram too Send in the Cloner!

1986 – Brain Brain was written by Basit aswell as Amjad, these two broothers had a computerstore in Pakistan.
The reason that they wrote the virus was that they got tired of people making illegal copies of the programs that was sold in the computer store. The virus Brain was the first bootsector virus and spread from floppy disk to floppy disk.

1987 – Christmas worm, File infectors aswell Lehigh.

The first viruses started to spread and show around 1987. These viruses infected .coom files, there amongst command.com. The first virus that infekted command.com was Lehigh virus.

1988 – Robert Morris masken, MacMag, Scores

1998 was proberbly the first year where there was a crisis on the Internet.
The Morris worm was not written to spread in that fast pace.
But due to bad coding the Morris worm continued to infect other systems.
The Morris worm spread across through several vulnerabilities in UNIX, these vulnerabilities existed in sendmail, fingerd, rsh/rexec aswell as weak passwords.

1989 – AIDS trojanen

The Aids trojan was not a virus but a trojan.
The Aids Trojan spread as a AIDS information program.
When the file was executed the system encrypted the entire harddrive. In order to get your data back you had to pay the viruscreator money to get the key to unencrypt the harddrive.

1991 – Tequila (Polymorphic virus)

Tequila was the first Polymorphic virus, this means that the virus had the possibility to change it’s “signature”. That made the virus harder for the antivirus programs to find the virus.

1992 – Michelangelo, DAME

Michelangelo was one of the first viruses which got alot of publicity.
DAME was the first automated toolkit to create viruses on the fly.
DAME stands for “Dark Avenger Mutation Engine”. This toolkit made it possible for newbies to create a virus.

1995 – Concept First macro virus.

This is the first Macro virus that was discovered.
Concept infected word documents.

1996 – Boza, Staog

Boza was the first virus written to infect Windows 95 machines. Staog was the first virus to infect Linux machines.


1998 – Strange Brew and Back Orifice

Strange brew was the first Java virus. Back Orifice was the first known Remote Administration tool that got out in the open.
Back Orifice was created by cDc, Cult of the Dead Cow.

1999 – Melissa and Bubbleboy

Melissa was a macro virus. Melissa spread in two ways. One of these ways was to spread to other documents. The other was was through the address book in Outlook/Outlook Express, where Melissa would send itself to other e-mail addresses in the Addressbook.
Bubbleboy was the first “Automatic” virus.
Bubbleboy spread across E-mail and spread without the user had to execute the virus/worm, this was done automatically if the user had the “Preview Pane” activated in Outlook/Outlook Express.

2000 – Love Letter “I Love You”

If we say that the Morris worm created mayham and put the Internet in crisis for the first time, then the Love Letter would be the second time.
Love Letter spread as a “love letter” sent to the recipient with a Subject line stating “I Love You”.
If the recipient opened the mail, then a VBS script was activated and the ILOVEYOU virus sent it self to all persons within the addressbook, aswell as it created multiple files on the infected system.

I got approx 20 “I Love You” Love Letters the first day.

2001 – Nimda, Badtrans, Code Red

Nimda was one of the more sophisticated worms that got out in the open. Nimda spread across the Internet in a very rapid pace.
Nimda spread through e-mails, Windows shares, Webpages.
When Nimda struck a user, then Nimda try to do the following. Spread to more users through E-mail, Spread to the shares the user had, try to hack IIS 4/5 servers with a bunch of different vulnerabilities. And last but not least try to infiltrate IIS 4.0/5.0 system which was infected by CodeRed II.

2002 – Klez, Yaha, Bugbear

Klez was the biggest virus under 2002.
According to Sophos this was infected on 25 % of the systems which was virusinfected during 2002.
The 3 other largest viruses under 2002 was Klez, Bugbear aswell as Badtrans.

2003 – Blaster, Sobig-F, Slammer

Blaster spread across a RPC DCOM vulnerability in Windows. It took approx 3 months after the vulnerability was patched by Windows before Blaster appeared on the Internet.
Sobig-F also topped the lists over the most spread viruses during 2003.
Slammer was another worm that spread automaticall through a vulnerability in MSSQL.

2004 – Netsky, Mydoom, Bagle
And the rest is history.