Which was the first Windows virus? Which was the first AntiVirus?

While searching for information about WinVer, the first Windows virus, I came across an interesting article about the history of virus and antivirus.

Which was the first Windows Virus

In 1986, the first MS-DOS PC virus was created. It was the Brain virus from Pakistan. Brain was a boot sector virus and only infected 360k floppy disks. Interestingly, even though it was the first virus, it had full-stealth capability.

Stoned was the first MBR infector and was written by a student at the University of Wellington in New Zealand.

Several innovative viruses appeared in 1992:

  • EXEBug introduced CMOS modification to prevent clean booting.
  • Groove was the first .EXE infecting MtE virus. It also targeted many anti-virus products.
  • Invol was the first .SYS infector. It was also slightly polymorphic.
  • Starship was a SPM, slow infector. It also introduced a new way to infect the hard drive.
  • V-Sign was the first polymorphic boot sector virus.
  • WinVer 1.4 was the first Windows virus.

WinVer was Windows specific. VLAD was probably the first one to specifically target Windows 95 systems.

Read: Evolution of malware.

Which was the first AntiVirus

There are competing claims for the innovator of the first antivirus product. Possibly the first publicly documented removal of a computer virus in the wild was performed by Bernd Fix in 1987.

By the end of 1990 there were a number of anti-virus products available.

  • AntiVirus Plus from Iris
  • Certus from Certus International
  • Data Physician from Digital Dispatch
  • Turbo Antivirus from Carmel
  • Virex-PC from Microcom
  • Virucide (McAfee’s Pro-Scan) from Parsons
  • Virusafe from Elia Shim
  • ViruScan from McAfee
  • Dr. Solomon’s Anti-Virus Toolkit from S&S
  • F-Prot from Frisk Software
  • ThunderByte from ESaSS
  • Vaccine from Sophos
  • Vaccine from World Wide Data
  • V-Analyst from BRM
  • Vet from Cybec
  • VirusBuster from Hunix
  • Virscan from IBM
  • Vi-Spy from RG Software

One other product appeared in December of 1990. Its release foreshadowed a new direction the antivirus industry would take in 1991.

The product was Norton AntiVirus!

Sourced from IBM Research. Additional read: Wikipedia.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.