Feeds

First DOS-based malware celebrates silver jubilee

From Brain to zombie hordes in 25 years

3 Big data security analytics techniques

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. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Heartbleed exploit, inoculation, both released
File under 'this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me'
Reddit users discover iOS malware threat
'Unflod Baby Panda' looks to snatch Apple IDs
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.