Feeds

First DOS-based malware celebrates silver jubilee

From Brain to zombie hordes in 25 years

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The first virus capable of infecting DOS-based PCs celebrates its silver jubilee this month.

The Brain Virus, written by Pakistani brothers Basit and Amjad Alvi, was relatively harmless. The Alvis claimed the malware was there as a copyright protection measure to protect their medical software from piracy, an article by CIO magazine on the anniversary recalls.

Brain replaced the boot sector of an infected floppy disk with malicious code, moving the real boot sector to another part of the disc. The malware had the effect of slowing down disk access and, more rarely, making some disks unusable.

Any other floppies used on a machine while the virus was in memory would get infected, but the malware did not copy itself to hard disk drives, as explained in a write-up here.

The Lahore-based Alvi brothers were fairly upfront about their questionable actions, going as far as embedding their names and business address in the malware code. Although intended only to target copyright violators, the malware infected machines in the US and UK among other places.

It's hard to believe now, but the very few computer viruses prior to Brain infected early Apple or Unix machines.

It is highly unlikely any of today's generation of VXers would do the same. Instead of curios such as the Brain virus, security threats these days take the more ominous form of Zombie botnet clients.

The Alvi brothers could never have imagined we'd get here, even though they arguably helped pave a small part of the way towards a world of Windows malware. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.