5 things that may surprise you about the first PC virus


In early 2011, 25 years after the creation of the first PC virus, F-Secure’s Chief Research Officer and legendary code warrior Mikko Hypponen went on a journey to find the creators of the first virus.

Here are a few intriguing facts about the first PC virus:

  1. The gentlemen who wrote the virus—Amjad Farooq Alvi and Basit Farooq Alvi—included their name, address and phone number in the code. Before long, of course, they had to change that phone number.
  2. The name of the virus—Brain—is also the name of a successful telecommunication business that the brothers still run in Lahore, Pakistan.
  3. The virus could only be spread via 5 ¼-inch floppy disks and still managed to be reach around the globe in a matter of weeks.
  4. The first PC virus was also the first rootkit, a program designed to conceal itself.
  5. The brothers designed Brain to test the multi-tasking functionality in the new DOS operating system.

What was the most interesting thing you learned from Mikko’s trip to Pakistan? Let us know in the comments.

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