The Retro Virus Is Back On The Computer.

2021-02-24   |   by CusiGO

Today, a computer infected with a computer virus costs money. The vast majority of malware (or malicious code) spread on the Internet will seek direct economic returns, such as encrypting data and demanding their release (blackmail). In some cases, the victim will know that she has been attacked only when she sees the amount deducted from the current account.

Viruses are not always that discrete. In the early era of consumer computing, malware is more like a pastime for early hackers, a way to show knowledge and test themselves. Their deployment is very intuitive: colorful lights invade the screen at a crazy speed, windows keep opening, letters fall on the bottom of the display; ships, hemp leaves, naked women appear, which is said to be interesting information… Infected people get hurt, they may lose all the data, but they are not pulled out.

The era of virus world has changed so much that people have a real nostalgia for the early malware. Among them is Daniel white of Texas, who has nearly 300000 users on YouTube. It shows what happens when a computer is infected with this malicious code. In his most popular video, played more than 4.5 million times, you can see how windows of the youarenidiot Trojan horse is constantly deployed before the computer restarts. He also showed the latest examples, such as wannacry or notpetya media in 2017. He even documented experiments with viruses developed by his followers for the occasion.

“I think I’ve taught about 400 different kinds of malware how to work. I especially like the most eye-catching ones. Those who influenced MS-DOS and early windows are particularly well known, “explains white of Dallas. The 30-year-old engineer stressed: “although most malware over the past 15 years have been silent and economically motivated, the prevailing perception of viruses still evokes images of airplanes flying on screens, windows displaying crude messages, and random and complete destruction of system files.”.

His passion began in 2004, when his computer was first infected with a worm called Sasser. Since then, he has been following the software. I want to know more about them. He was attracted by the idea that someone would enter a code from his basement and produce “strange and interesting” effects on other people’s computers.

“I started searching the database of malware descriptions and their infectors and activators,” he recalled “My favorite is the F-Secure virus library, which has many comments from the famous network security researcher Miko shipnin.”

The Finn white mentioned is regarded as a global reference for network security and a virus collector. Hypp? Nen combines his position as research director of F-Secure with a rich schedule of conferences and seminars and the restoration of the malware Museum, the first online malware repository. “I collected viruses from the late 1980s and early 1990s, and five years ago, I noticed that the Internet archives had developed a system that could simulate the operation of old computers from any browser,” hepnin explained. He said the system is mainly used to play old video games. “I studied whether this support could replicate viruses as well. It turns out, yes, so now anyone can be surprised to see what some computer viruses of 30 years ago can do, “he added.

There are thousands of his personal collections, but the museum shows only a few dozen, the most interesting of which is (and some, though technically complex, are loosely deployed on the screen). “My favorite is casinos. It is a destructive virus that covers the file allocation table on certain dates. However, keep the allocated copy before overriding, and then invite the victim to play a game. If you win, everything will go back to your website and recover the data; if you lose, or you restart the system without playing, all the files will be destroyed. ”

Wit and fireworks are the hallmarks of what we call old-fashioned viruses today. “Many old school malware writers use their virus as a form of expression, which is why their scenes are full of animations, sounds and photos. There’s no doubt that viruses are a form of art, a rather unique fact, “hepnin said.

In fact, some people are willing to pay for works created by malware. In 2019, someone bought a laptop infected with six of the most dangerous viruses known at the time for 1.2 million euros at an auction in New York. The work, named permanence of chaos, was signed by artist Guo Guodong. It aims to enhance people’s understanding that attacks on the digital world will also have an impact on the physical world.

Understanding the past is important to understanding the present. So, out of professional interest, in 2011, shipnin tracked down the brain, believed to be the first virus in history, which was 25 years old. The Finns went to Pakistan to meet its creators, the basset brothers and alvi Amjad. They designed it as a way to prevent piracy, which they wrote and recorded on 5.5 floppy disks. This research can be considered as the archaeology of malware.

“Computer security has made great progress, but the technologies and strategies used to deal with threats 20 years ago are still the main components of modern anti-virus software,” White said. In other words: Although technology has improved, understanding the technology of early virus developers is of great help to today’s technology developers. And, of course, those responsible for creating the defense architecture.

However, white realized that his hobby was not safe for those unfamiliar with him. “Like some viruses, potentially dangerous materials should not be easily archived, so that anyone who is not sure what they are holding or who has malicious intentions can easily download them,” he pointed out.

“If you don’t record and record the past, most malware will be lost. It is an important part of the history of computer science. “A lot of the databases I learned 15 or 16 years ago have disappeared from the Internet, and cyber security companies are less concerned about past threats than they are today,” White said In fact, he considers himself a historian of malware. “We have to work hard to keep this important chapter in the history of the Internet,” hepnin said. “If we don’t, who will? “,

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