On this day: First computer virus is released

On this day: First computer virus is released

When was the first computer virus created?

The story of the first computer virus is pretty interesting as well as amusing. It was created in 1982 by a 15-year-old high school student named Rich Skrenta. He created it as a joke and put it onto a floppy disk supposedly containing a game. Thus, the origin of viruses is based on pranks and practical jokes rather than any criminal or harmful intent.

ALSO READ: 7 tips to make the best use of your laptop

The virus, Elk Cloner, was written for the Apple II operating system. At that time, computers had dual floppy disk drives. Elk Cloner stored in a floppy disk, copied itself to any uninfected floppy disk when a user booted a computer from an infected floppy disk. It had a pretty sophisticated and clever mechanism as well. It was attached to a game that was then set to play. The 50th time the game was started, the virus was released and instead of playing the game, it would change to a blank screen that displayed the following poem about the virus.

Elk Cloner: The program with a personality

It will get on all your disks

It will infiltrate your chips

Yes it’s Cloner

It will stick to you like glue

It will modify RAM too

Send in the Cloner!

Skrenta, the creator of Elk Cloner, already had quite the reputation among his friends long before he created this virus. He would regularly prank his friends while sharing computer games. He would often alter the floppy disks to shut down or display mischievous messages.

ALSO READ: 10 top software every laptop should have

Skrenta discovered how to launch the message automatically on his Apple II computer. He developed something which is now known as a boot sector virus. He began circulating this within his friend circular and local pubs. The virus was rather contagious and successfully infected many floppies as people back then were not wary of the potential problems of a virus.

Unleash your inner geek with Croma Unboxed

Subscribe now to stay ahead with the latest articles and updates

You are almost there

Enter your details to subscribe


Disclaimer: This post as well as the layout and design on this website are protected under Indian intellectual property laws, including the Copyright Act, 1957 and the Trade Marks Act, 1999 and is the property of Infiniti Retail Limited (Croma). Using, copying (in full or in part), adapting or altering this post or any other material from Croma’s website is expressly prohibited without prior written permission from Croma. For permission to use the content on the Croma’s website, please connect on contactunboxed@croma.com


Leave a Reply
  • Related articles
  • Popular articles
  • OTD

    On this day: Altair 8800, the first commercially successful personal computer is released

    Atreya Raghavan

  • OTD

    On this day: Apple iPod mini introduced

    Sambit Satpathy

  • OTD

    On this day: Apple iPod Shuffle introduced

    Atreya Raghavan