Tech Trivia

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Can you identify the first computer virus?

a. Elk Cloner
b. Reaper
c. Brain
d. Creeper

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Answer: Creeper, named for a character on the “Scooby Doo” cartoon show, is generally recognized at the first computer virus. It was written in 1971 by Bob Thomas of BBN Technologies and spread through DEC PDP-10 computers on ARPAnet, displaying the message, "I'm the creeper, catch me if you can!"

Elk Cloner, written in 1982 by then-15-year-old Rich Skrenta of Pittsburgh, was a boot-sector virus designed to infect Apply II computers and was the first to be detected in the wild.

Brain, created in Pakistan in 1986, was the first PC virus to be found in the wild.

And the first antivirus program? Reaper, which was created to delete Creeper.

BBN Technologies, by the way, was the proud owner of the second domain name to be registered on the Internet, as we found out in last week’s question. Which was the first? Click here.

Posted on Aug 11, 2011 at 9:39 AM


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