First Traces of Computer Virus Dates Back to 1949 [DYK]

, that the first traces of viruses are dated back to 1949 (cite: Panda Security) and was spread related to a game called Core Wars? However, according to Wikipedia, the first documented virus was released in 1971.


The first documented virus, was called as Creeper virus, and was a experimental self-replicating program, written by Bob Thomas. Creeper virus affected networked computers and displayed the message, “I’m the creeper, catch me if you can!“.

The term viruswas only coined in 1983 by Frederick Cohen, to describe self-replicating programs. Malicious viruses started making their appearances in 1986, when a virus named Brain boot sector virus coded in Pakistan was released, and affected IBM based PCs. In the same year the first Trojan name PC-Write made its appearance.

The first documented removal of computer viruses is dated back to 1987 and was created by Brent Fix. Several other popular antivirus systems were released between 1987 and 1990, a few of which are widely used even today, including Avira AntiVir, Norton and McAfee.

In those days there was no Internet, however, viruses were usually spread through Floppy Disks and networked computers. However, the virus writers quickly adapted to the internet and started spreading worms through this medium.

At present, viruses have taken a more sophisticated approach and are very hard to spot. There are millions of documented and undocumented viruses going around the Internet. In modern terms, viruses are more than just self-replicating programs and crackers (not hackers) have taken up to scamming people through various means.

You can find more information about the origin of Viruses and Antivirus systems at the Antivirus page on Wikipedia.

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Keith Dsouza

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