When I was a virus writer

Just now I remembered (loudly on IRC) a fun little story from my time at school, when I was around 16. That was when I wrote my first virus. It should be said that this was the good old times with MS DOS. Personally I was still hacking around on a C64. But at school we got this new pool with PCs and such. So what I did was opening up a text editor, create a file with the content ‘I am a virus’ in it. Save. Rename to virus.exe, put it up in C:\ . Eventually, my teacher found that file. Guess what he did? He shut down the whole new pool for several days. And mind you, we didn’t have network etc. As if computer viruses could be transmitted just like real viruses through the air!

Encouraged by this success, I wrote another virus (my last one actually). This time it was a real program. Written in QBasic. Remember this? This MS invention that shipped with MS-DOS 4 or 5. This small program painted a nuclear explosion on the screen. Not what you would expect from nowadays 3D graphics of course, only some white circles in some cool fashion. I linked that into the autoexec.bat so that it fired up right after booting the computer. Fun for me 🙂 Unfortunately, my teacher already knew me by this time and did not shut down the pool again :-(. That was when I gave up my career as virus writer and became a honest hacker.


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