Lahore’s 5th Gift to the World: Virus Threat Realization

“In the spirit of all the holiday gift giving that will be taking place over the next couple of months, all the Metroblogging cities are giving 7 gifts to the world. Lahore comes up with its 5th Gift to the World.”

Lahore not only just generated the world’s first computer virus, in fact, it gifted world the realization of threats posed by Piracy and Viruses.

First detected in January 1986, (c)Brain, is the oldest PC virus known.

As Wikipedia reports it:

(c)Brain (the industry standard name being Brain) is a 1986 computer virus that infects the boot sector of storage media formatted with the DOS File Allocation Table (FAT) file system.

It was written by two brothers, Basit and Amjad Farooq Alvi, who lived in Chahmiran, Lahore, Pakistan. The brothers told TIME magazine they had written it to protect their medical software from piracy and was supposed to target copyright infringers only.

The virus is also known as Lahore, Pakistani, Pakistani Brain, and UIUC. Businessweek magazine at the time called the virus the Pakistani flu.

(c)Brain affects the computer by replacing the boot sector with a copy of the virus. The real boot sector is moved to another sector and marked as bad and infected disks usually have three kilobytes of bad sectors. The disk label is changed to (c)Brain.

The virus came complete with the brothers’ address and three phone numbers, and a message that told the user that their machine was infected and for inoculation the user should call them.

One of the most interesting details regarding the Brain virus is the following text, which appears inside it:

Welcome to the Dungeon
(c) 1986 Basit & Amjad (pvt) Ltd.
PHONE :430791,443248,280530.
Beware of this VIRUS….
Contact us for vaccination………… $#@%$@!!

In another version of the virus, the text looks like this:

Welcome to the Dungeon
(c) 1986 Brain & Amjads (pvt) Ltd.
Dedicated to the dynamic memories
of millions of virus who are no longer with us today –
BEWARE OF THE er..VIRUS :This program is catching
program follows after these messeges….. $#@%$@!!

When the brothers began to receive a large number of phone calls from people in USA, Britain, and elsewhere, demanding them to disinfect their machines, the brothers were stunned and tried to explain to the outraged callers that their motivation had not been malicious. They ended up having to get their phone lines cut off and regretted that they had revealed their contact info in the first place. The brothers are still in business in Pakistan as internet service providers in their company called Brain Limited.”

Nowadays Brain is extinct.

Source links: (c)Brain at Wikipedia; (c)Brain at F-Secure

Special Thanks: Talha Masood from IMB for the idea and suggestion.

Also check out:

Lahore’s 4th Gift to the World
Lahore’s 3rd Gift to the World
Lahore’s 2nd Gift to the World
Lahore’s 1st Gift to the World

As other Metroblogging make eforts in gift giving, David Markland from Los Angeles has been maintaining a regularly updated, day-to-day Guide to Metroblogging Cities’ Gifts to the World

6 Comments so far

  1. Yahya (unregistered) on December 4th, 2006 @ 2:23 pm

    The anti-virus industry is thankful to Lahore. :)

  2. Bulla (unregistered) on December 4th, 2006 @ 4:06 pm

    lol @ Yahya! :D

    Dunno how everyone else felt about Brain the Virus but whenever my floppy disks got infected, it kinda made me proud – it being from my home country. :)

  3. Sa'ad (unregistered) on December 4th, 2006 @ 4:40 pm

    YEAH viruses are delicious.

  4. Mani (unregistered) on December 5th, 2006 @ 1:21 am

    I’m really amazed!

    I mean we are considered a backward nation in technology today (I know the trend is changing.)

    But they created it in 1986. WOW!

    It means the history of virus starts just 2 months before I was born. :-D

    I didn’t said I’m a Brain! (means Virus) 8D.

  5. Talha (unregistered) on December 5th, 2006 @ 1:41 pm

    Thanks mate :)

  6. Yahya (unregistered) on December 7th, 2006 @ 1:41 am

    What happened to sixth and seventh gifts? :)

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