by CIO Staff

20th Anniversary of the 1st Computer Virus: Let Us Now Praise Famous Viruses

Jan 20, 20062 mins
IT Strategy

by Constantine von Hoffman

This month marks the 20th anniversary of the release of the first computer virus! HOORAY and HUZZAH! Yes, while others gnash their teeth and curse the day that the “boot sector virus, Brain, which infected computers via floppy disk” was unleashed, I say it is difficult to think of a bigger boon to the IT community. Why just in the last week we’ve had the “Kama Sutra” virus, an as-yet-unnamed keylogging Trojan, Oracle releasing its now quarterly security upgrades and, of course, the almost daily fixes to some part of a Microsoft product. It is estimated that there are currently some 150K viruses attacking our computers and networks. Without malignant hackers and viruses the world would literally be a much poorer place today. Think of the number of corporations, business units, faculty positions, government agencies and jobs that exist solely to address these problems. This day should be celebrated throughout the world as Geek Employment Day. So blessings upon you, Mr. or Ms. Unknown Writer of The Brain. Let us all acknowledge a job well done. May your efforts continue to be fruitful and multiply.

Nor is this the only anniversary of note this year. In an apparently successful effort to garner some attention, Marc Levinson claims that this is the 50th anniversary of the shipping container. He has even written a book about it: THE BOX: How the Shipping Container made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger. I have not read it yet. I am waiting for the terminal insomnia to kick in first.

Why Compatibility Matters You certainly want your communication system to work well with that of your primary customers. That’s the lesson learned by Dunkin’ Donuts in Keene, NH, whose computer system clashes with that of the police. “Police using the drive-through have to disconnect their computer modems to avoid clashing with the restaurants’ system.” What would Chief Wiggum say?


What’s your favorite virus? Post a comment or drop me an email at Best response wins an actual prize.