Monday, 07 Sep, 2009 Technology

List of Computer Viruses Developed in 1980s


No one knows exactly when the first computer virus appeared, which is why there are various opinions regarding its birth date. In this article you will find a computer virus list that includes viruses considered to be the earliest, noticed for the first time in 1980s. The viruses are presented in chronological order.

1. Elk Cloner Computer Virus - 1982

Among some of the earliest computer viruses this one is believed to be the first to go outside the computer system on which it was developed, which is why it is the first in our computer virus list. Elk Cloner was created by Richard Skrenta, a 15-year-old high school student, who made the virus for Apple II systems somewhere around 1982. The virus was able to spread by infecting the operating system on Apple II, which was stored on floppy disks. Just like the majority of the first computer viruses, the damaged caused by Elk Cloner were not high, but it did annoy a lot of users with the display of a poem that appeared on every 50th booting. It read:

  • Elk Cloner: The program with a personality
  • It will get on all your disks
  • It will infiltrate your chips
  • Yes it's Cloner!
  • It will stick to you like glue
  • It will modify ram too
  • Send in the Cloner!

2. The Brain Computer Virus - 1986

The Brain virus plague started in 1986. It was the first IBM PC computer virus and was able to infect 360KB diskettes, thus spreading worldwide very fast. The virus managed to infect a lot of computers simply because people were unprepared for computer viruses. The Brain was developed in Pakistan by two brothers: Basit and Amjad Farooq Alvi. Both worked as software vendors, and their goal was to learn about the degree of piracy in their country, but they were unaware that their program could spread outside Pakistan. It is worth mentioning that the Brain computer virus is considered to be the first stealth virus, and it comes second in our computer virus list.

3. The Vienna virus - 1987

In 1987 users witnessed the appearance of "Vienna" computer virus. It is the first direct action virus, which means that it instantaneously downloads into memory, shortly after that it infects other files, and afterwards the virus unloads itself. Ralph Burger was the one to receive a copy of the Vienna virus. He disassembled it, and then published his findings in his book entitled "Computer Viruses: a High-tech Disease". In his book, the author stated about the idea of developing computer viruses popular. Burger explained how to make viruses, thus, unintentionally leading to the creation of thousands of computer viruses that were developed by his readers.

4. The Jerusalem virus - 1987

In the Fall of 1987 the Jerusalem University was struck by a computer virus, which was ultimately dubbed the Jerusalem virus. This computer virus is preset in our computer virus list because it is considered to be one of the first MS-DOS viruses that led to a real pandemic. Computers worldwide were infected, including those from Europe, the United States and the Middle East. The Jerusalem virus was able to infect .COM, .EXE, .SYS, .BIN, and .PIF files.

5. Morris Virus - 1988

Until the appearance of this computer virus, other viruses spread on a somewhat smaller scale. Morris is present in our computer virus list because it is the first Internet computer virus that truly spread across the world. It was developed by a Cornell University graduate student, who also appeared to be the son of a top government computer-security specialist. This computer virus managed to infect around 6000 university and military machines, including the computers of NASA research Institute where it completely paralyzed the machines' work.

6. Datacrime virus - 1989

For the first time this computer virus was spotted in 1989. It led to a real hysteria at that time, but in the end it caused very little harm. The Datacrime virus overwrote parts of the HDD and displayed the following message: "DATACRIME VIRUS' 'RELEASED: 1 MARCH 1989". Afterwards the virus formatted the first 9 tracks of the HDD.

7. The Fu Manchu virus - 1989

Tthis computer virus represented as modification of Jerusalem virus. The Fu Manchu Virus represents a computer virus able to infect .COM, .EXE and overlay files. After an infected program had been executer, the virus loaded into computer's memory and then struck the machine's runtime operation, damaging overlay files.

In 1980s there were some other viruses developed. Below you can find a small list of computer viruses that were also created during this period of time:

  • - Vacsina;
  • - Yankee;
  • - Cascade;
  • - Stoned;
  • - Yale;
  • - PingPong;
  • - Lehigh;
  • - "Suriv-1" a.k.a. "April1st";
  • - Suriv-2;
  • - Suriv-3.
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