In the first half of the 1980s, computer viruses -- programs that reproduce themselves by "infecting" other programs -- existed mostly in labs. A few had managed to find their way into the wild on the Apple II platform, but for the most part they were tightly controlled by computer researchers.
A Brief History Of Viral Time
The 10 Most Destructive Viruses
Early Days On The Antivirus Front
What To Do In A Malware Attack
Virus Image Gallery
To bring the last two decades of malware into sharp focus, we've put together a package of fascinating and detailed stories:
A Brief History Of Viral Time chronicles how malware has evolved over the past 20 years, from one-trick viruses that spread via floppy disks, through mass-mailing worms that took advantage of users' e-mail contacts, up to today's devious spyware, rootkits, and more. Be sure not to miss the in-depth Flash timeline of virus milestones on the first page. (If you'd rather see the timeline in a small pop-up window, click here.)
The 10 Most Destructive Viruses Of All Time is, well, a chronological look at some of the most destructive viruses of all time. These were the viruses and worms that brought businesses to their knees and caused massive Internet slowdowns.
Early Days On The Antivirus Front: A Personal Perspective is a firsthand account by AV programmer Ross M. Greenberg of what it was like to fight viruses when they first reared their ugly heads. Many talented people jumped into the fray against these nasty critters, establishing the techniques and tools we still use today for malware protection.
Having a response plan in place can mean the difference between a major catastrophe and a minor annoyance for businesses. Malware Responses: What To Do Before, During, And After An Attack is a downloadable guide for IT staff on how to protect their companies from attacks.
Finally, our Virus Image Gallery provides screenshots of viruses in action -- including some bugs that didn't do much harm but are a lot of fun to look at.
So grab a cup of joe, sit back, and take our tour of the last 20 years of PC viruses. Hold on tight -- it's a bumpy ride.