The story of the virus: How was born the first computer virus?

If you wonder why your firewall software is becoming more expensive every year, maybe you would like to address some hard words to Dr. Fred Cohen. He is the man who 26 years ago, invented the first computer virus.

Although he’s responsible for the birth of the first digital virus his pioneering research led, also, to the protection of your computer against threats in the years that followed. Fred Cohen first discovered the virus in 1983, when he was a professor at the University of Southern California. A research team from a rival university just created, theoretically, on paper, the first Trojan – a program that allows a hacker to take control of another computer – and Cohen, analyzing the algorithm thought that the malicious program could be conditioned to self-replicate.

“I was sitting in class with my students and I realized that if the Trojan will copy into other programs, then all that will be infected and that everyone that will run it will lead to the proliferation of malicious program”, said Cohen. The teacher discussed this idea with Dr. Len Adleman, another computer security expert at California University.

The information spread and could not be controlled, so that viruses have proliferated, multiplying and improving year by year. Today, Dr. Cohen confesses worried that, since the early 1990s, wasn’t done a serious research in the field of viruses. “Viruses are a business hack who bring billions of dollars. No one is interested to invest in serious research, to truly eradicate. Although I believe that it is possible. However, today, all hackers and talented computer programmers are employed by large IT companies whose interest is to protect computers against the latest viruses, not against the one to come, says Fred Cohen.

Fred Cohen is one of the leading computer security experts worldwide. He discovered the first virus, has formed the first antivirus programs and developed a unique theory which says that there are also positive viruses. To demonstrate it, he elaborated a positive virus – it spreads infecting executable files from all computers visited. But, does not destroy them, not in any way disturbs an operation, it only does it … much smaller in size. Based on this positive virus were also invented famous archiving software compression methods used by digital pirates in the second half of the ’90s.

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