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Evolution of Computer Virus

Theories for self-replicating programs are first developed.

Apple Viruses 1, 2, and 3 are some of the first viruses "in the wild", or in the public domain. Found on the Apple II operating system, the viruses spread across Texas through pirated games.

Fred Cohen defines a computer virus as "a program that can affect other computer programs by modifying them in such a way to include a (possibly evolved) copy of itself."

Two daredevil Pakistani Progammers, Basit and Amjad, replace the Executable code in the boot sector of a floopy disk with their own code designed to infect each 360 KB floppy accessed on any drive.

The Lehigh virus, one of the first file viruses, infects files.

One of the most common ciruses, Jeruselem, is unleashed. The virus, affects both .exe and .com files. MacMag and the Scores virus cause the first major Macintsh outbreaks.

Symantec launches North Antivirus , one of the first anti-virus programs developed by a major company.

Tequila is the first widespread polymorphic virus found in the wild. Polymorphic viruses were specialy designed to make detection difficult for virus scanners.

As many as 1300 viruses are in existence.

The Dark Avenger Mutation Engine (DAME) is created. It's a tooklit that turns ordinary viruses into polymorphic viruses. The Virus Creation Laboratory(VCL) is also made available.

The God Times e-mail hoax tears through the Internet community. The hoax warns of a malicious virus that will erase an entire hard drive.

Word Concept becomes one of the most prevalent viruses in the mid 1990s . it is spread through Microsoft word documents.

The Baza, Laroux and Staog viruses are the first to infect Windows 95 files, Excel, and Linux respectively.

StrageBrew was the first virus to infect Java files. The Chernobyl virus spreads quickly via.exe files.

The Melissa virus executes a macro in a document attached to an e-mail, which, in turn, forwards the document to 50 people in the user's Outlook address book. Bubble Boy is the worm that does not depend on the recipient opening an attachment for infection to set in . As soon as the user opens the e-mail, Bubble Boy strikes.

The Love Bug, also known as the ILOVEYOU virus, sends itself out via Outlook. It also sends usernames and pass words to the virus' author.

W97M. Resume.A, a new variation of the Melissa virus, is determined to be in the wild. The 'resume' virus uses a Word macro to infect Outlook and spread itself.

China tightens regulations against viruses, mandating a fine and imprisonment for people who spread them.

The 'stages' virus, disguished as a joke e-mail about the stages of life, spreads across the Internet.

'stages' is hidden in an attachment with a false".txt" extension, luring recipients in opening it.

Shortly after the September 11th attacks, the Nimda virus infects computers all over the world. The virus is one of the most sophiticated to date.

The 'Anna Kournikova' virus worries analysts who beleived it was written with toolkit that would allow programmers to create virus.

Author of the Mellissa virus, David L. smith, is sentenced to 20 months in federal prison in New jersey.

In january, the relatively benign 'Slammer' worm, also known as Sapphire, becomes the fastest spreading worm till date, infecting 75000 computers in just 10 minutes.

The Sobig worm becomes the one of the first to join the spam community.

The MyDoom or Novarg worm spreads throug e-mails faster than any previous virus or worm. The target is 'denial of service attack' on the SCO group.


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