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Malware, Virus? Let's clarify with a bit of history!

Gaetano D'Orsi
Freelance Developer, Trainer, and Writer.
・2 min read

Most of us in our daily life, we have at least one time, read, heard speaking of various types of "malicious software".

Malicious software sometimes is referred only with the word virus, the most common jargon to call software that could cause problems.
In reality it is only a type of specific malware.

A Malware is a broad terminology for distinguishing certain software that could cause problems with our computer, software, or computer network. There is a wide range of existing malware (worm, trojan, ransomware, etc..) but one of the most famous and knows is the Computer Virus.

A Computer Virus is a software that looks like a clean program that produces itself copies and spread these copies into other programs or files usually to perform a harmful action. For example the corruption or deletion of the same files.

What is the first computer virus detected in history?

It is named Elk Cloner, created by Rich Skrenta in 1982 but the documents behind the first computer virus are confusing and fragmented before the beginning of the microcomputer era when computers were situated only in university labs or banking systems.
We have only got a few science fiction novels that starting to describe something similar to actual computer viruses, the first written in 1970.
Here for more detail.

The Elk Cloner was an innocuous virus, created for joke purposes.
It spread by infecting the Apple DOS installed in the 1977 Apple II with a disk game and activated his replication mechanism during the 50th start of the game.
At that moment instead of showing the game on the screen, it printed the message as follows:

  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!
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After that if you had inserted other disk into the computer Elk Cloner easily jumped into the disk memory contaminated and repeating the spread in another computer and so on...

For more detail go to this link.

I hope that increased your curiosity about the weird but magical world of malware.

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