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The First Computer Virus and Thereafter

The first computer virus called "Brain" was created twenty years ago and it caused fear of system crash down. The virus used to spread through infected floppy disks from other computers. Now the situation has changed and become worse. Viruses have more effective ways to penetrate our systems, however Internet remains the most convenient one.

Although Silicon Valley carries out an all-out campaign against computer viruses, things don't seem to have improved. In fact, engineers discover one or two viruses on an average everyday.

As anti-virus vendors find new techniques to combat viruses, the virus developers get even more skilled. They are always able to find flaws to exploit and spread malware. Virus developers use novel tactics called "blended threat". These threats comprise of changing a little bit of the prevailing viruses and thereby using the variants to penetrate the networks, enabling remote hackers to gain unauthorized access of the computers.

An FBI study shows that 52% of companies experienced an attack in 2005 resulting in losses of over $15 million. Mr. Chris Roeckl of Fortinet says that the viruses are able to move in and out of the total traffic passing over the Internet without differentiating between good and bad traffic.

Some known viruses over the years, which have affected the computing world in the worst possible ways are 'I love you', 'Chernobyl', 'Melissa', 'Code Red', and 'My Doom'. As the usage of Internet expands the number of viruses is expected to increase.

According to Arthur Wong of Symantec Corporation, the situation in the next twenty years is difficult to predict. Nothing is certain about the position that will prevail and what will be the result of increasing adoption of the Internet. In fact, one cannot say how the Internet itself will look like with all the new vulnerabilities and threats that will emerge, in five or ten years from now.

Another reason for daily attacks on the computer is commercialization of malware. As long as cyber criminals can make money out of their malicious tactics, viruses and other malware will continue to be created and employed tactically to launch attacks.

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