25 years - Happy Birthday!
The nasty PC virus turned twenty-five years this month. The very first computer virus ever was created in January 1986. Dubbed "©Brain", this virus was aiming to infect DOS-based PCs. While this instance was relatively harmless and their creators claim sincere intentions, the world has changed since then. Today's viruses and worms are malign and aim for making profit. They attack now everything connected to a network: Windows PCs, but also Linux PCs and Macs; iPhones and other mobile devices; directly the operating system, but also applications like Adobe Reader (PDF), Firefox, ...
Thus, protect your computers from viruses and malware. Any unprotected computer connected to the Internet is likely to be infected within minutes! Keep your system up to date.
- Enable the regular automatic installation of updates/patches. If you can, use operating systems managed by CERN’s IT department;
- Use anti-virus software. The CERN anti-virus solution is even free for your home and private usage;
- Do not install untrusted software or plug-ins. Indeed, software from untrusted sources may infect or compromise your computer...;
- Do not open unexpected or suspicious e-mails or attachments. Delete them if they do not concern you or if they appear weird. If in doubt, contact Computer.Security@cern.ch;
- Stop-think-click. Do not click on suspicious links, but only click if you trust their origin.
More recommendations can be found on the Security Team's web site
. Your Computer Security Team
The very first virus warning at CERN we are aware of dates from October 1989: Computer Virus Warning to all users of IBM Compatible PCs
. It is still valid: “Do not panic … Cross your fingers” :-)
Interestingly, the first virus targeting Macs (called “Elk Cloner”) came out five years earlier in 1981! The first ever virus, “Creeper”, was detected as early as the 1970s.
by IT Department