Thursday, January 20, 2011

brain - a first in so many ways

i've seen a couple of articles now about this being the 25th anniversary of the computer virus known as brain.

brain was the first PC virus in the wild. it was the first bootsector infector. it was the first stealth virus.

supposedly it was created in the (somewhat hypocritical) hopes of attacking software piracy, so the history of intellectual property maximalism has a particularly odious chapter to add.

the thought occurred to me, however (and i'm probably not the first but i haven't seen this said anywhere that i can remember), that if the stated motivation behind the virus is correct then brain is, on top of everything else, the first commercially motivated malware. before zeus, before gpcode, before adware, before the porn dialers there was the brain virus intended to get people to contact the virus' manufacturer for support.