Ah, a good old-fashioned virus. You have to appreciate them in some sort of weird way. We’ve got one in the office right now, and it is not that easy to remove. Usually, the viruses you might encounter today are lacking any creativity or effort. It is so easy buying or even simply download a virus engine for free, and do what you want to do with it. Although the ‘I love you’ virus was still original, and very effective, since that too many other viruses have been created with the same idea; send a link in an email, and watch mayhem happen. And yes, I clicked also on the ‘I love you virus’. I could not help it! I received it from a colleague I had a huge crush on at that moment, and I clicked on it happily. Wow, and now I think about that, that is also another 10 years ago already.
It is not that I support viruses, but when I am encountering one I really want to have a worthy adversary. Not that our network is getting infected because someone clicked a shady link or went to an even shadier website. I still can forgive myself the mistake of clicking on the ‘I love you’ virus, but I was 10 years less experienced and it was the first virus that actually used the address book from email programmers to spread, so it usually came from a person you already knew, and trusted. These days, it is not that special anymore, it is not original.
Another one that I fondly remember was the Yankee Doodle virus, and this was back in the late eighties. It spread mostly by the means of copies of the Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards game. Without any personal networks or internet to speak of for the public, games were usually copied. And with that, the virus too. It was not disastrous, but every day at 5pm it would play ‘Yankee Doodle’. Especially fun in offices.
Another one that I hated more was the first malware/adware I got caught into; the searchWebToolbar180 – or something like it. I hated that thing, simply because I could not get rid of it, no matter what I did. It took me until AdAware came along that I was able to get rid of it. The way of catching it was simple; I installed by visiting a malicious website, and voila!
So, now we are dealing with this one. Nice, although it is not too much of a threat now it seems, it still makes up for a rainy Monday morning. I am actually quite in a good mood for today, because for all the complaining that I do about instable programming and designing, it seems that there are still developers out there who are good in what they do! And that, that gives perspective.