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!