ILOVEYOU & other trips down viral memory lane
June 30, 2013 7:26 PM   Subscribe

Relive techno fears of yore ... malware aficionado Daniel White collects vintage computer viruses, infects his machines and records the results. See more examples at his YouTube channel.
posted by madamjujujive (22 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
I see he hasn't tried the Goodtimes malware yet. That's probably for the best, considering how dangerous of a virus it is:
     Goodtimes will re-write your hard drive. Not only that, but
it will scramble any disks that are even close to your computer. It
will recalibrate your refrigerator's coolness setting so all your ice
cream goes melty. It will demagnetize the strips on all your credit
cards, screw up the tracking on your television and use subspace field
harmonics to scratch any CD's you try to play. [...]
posted by autopilot at 7:37 PM on June 30, 2013 [5 favorites]

Oh, THOSE techno fears. Whatever.
posted by cthuljew at 7:48 PM on June 30, 2013

posted by Sys Rq at 7:49 PM on June 30, 2013 [5 favorites]

In checking for doubles, I found this gem in the archives about Alex Dragulescu's malwarez art - pretty neat.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:54 PM on June 30, 2013

posted by oneswellfoop at 7:56 PM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Did anybody open the Virus.Boot.Brain video, see the green text and just fondly reminisce, and mentally hear the clicky-clack of the keyboard before he even started talking. *sigh*
posted by symbioid at 8:40 PM on June 30, 2013

A few years ago I was downloading tools from Japanese websites that were posted and last updated in like, 1997, and I was always kind of paranoid I'd catch some kind of "ancient" foreign virus that had been wiped out and my anti-virus program wouldn't catch it because the virus doesn't exist anymore. I'd be the stupid asshole that reintroduces it and it just totally brings the world to its knees for whatever reason.

And then a cyber Steven Seagal cures the world using some esoteric Native American program.
posted by Redfield at 9:00 PM on June 30, 2013 [6 favorites]

Very cool.

Went looking for Amiga virii and found this. The Amiga Virus Enyclopedia. He doesn't have many videos though.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:03 PM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by Artw at 9:11 PM on June 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

Take write protect off to save something,Fucking virus. Leave write protect on,GURU meditation time.

It was to the point you put less malicious viruses on your disks to protect them from malicious viruses.

I had a boot sector protector that played some song with the stepper motor in the floppy drive. Used it on hundreds of disks. That can't have been good.

Amiga was the best.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:22 PM on June 30, 2013

A particular joy were the anti-virus viruses which were actually just viruses.
posted by Artw at 9:23 PM on June 30, 2013

My friend was telling me he had a virus that made his Modem dial. I never believed it.

Years later he comes across an "oldwarez" FTP site and asks me to set up my A500 so he can play some games. I don't even know why I bothered, but I plugged in a us robotics 9600 baud modem I was really proud of when I first got.

We stay up playing games and at like 2:30 am we pop in a disk and at some point during loading the game, I'm foggy on if we booted off the floppy or what it could even have been the cracktro dialing, the modem dials.A woman actually answers before I unplug the phone cable.

She actually *69ed me and called back, she thought it was some kind of emergency or something and was frantic. I was like " it was my computer" and she thought I was fucking with her and cursed me out.

I wish I knew what the point of a virus or cracktro dialing your modem was.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:41 PM on June 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

I wish I knew what the point of a virus or cracktro dialing your modem was.

For Cramming or the equivalent.
They dial a 976 or a similar number somewhere in the Caribbean, charge you $10 or so and hope you don't notice.

The Caribbean was popular because depending on your dialing plan, it often wasn't blocked as an LD call.
posted by madajb at 9:49 PM on June 30, 2013 [3 favorites]

Yeah ok. I vaguely remember the prefixes you could dial to go through a third party LD provider and have it bill on your normal bill.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:57 PM on June 30, 2013

They were called CACs, carrier access codes. How could I forget.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:59 PM on June 30, 2013

I don't entirely know why but the fact that this is a thing someone is doing has basically made me insanely happy and this is so cool and thank you.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 10:15 PM on June 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

In 2001 I woke up to hear my computer dialing something by itself in the next room. Deeply creepy. Never did figure out how to lose the virus, but it only activated in the middle of the night, so I just unplugged the modem when I went to bed.
posted by jrochest at 1:53 AM on July 1, 2013

I don't entirely know why but the fact that this is a thing someone is doing has basically made me insanely happy and this is so cool and thank you.

Yeah, about that "insanely" stuff: I'm fine with this as long as he sticks to computer viruses. "I've just locked my friend in a box with nothing but a bottle of water... contaminated with a flu sample I got from a miner's corpse I found in the permafrost in the Yukon!" That wouldn't be nice.
posted by pracowity at 2:22 AM on July 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

Doesn't look like he's covered the WAZU Word macro virus that ran rampant in the BSGU computer labs during the late 90's. All it did was randomly insert the word "WAZU" over and over into your word document. The fun thing about it was that years later I would open up an old file and see "WAZU" inserted throughout it and then I'd have fond memories of my college days.
posted by charred husk at 7:51 AM on July 1, 2013

I always thought most viruses didn't have noticeable effects. Is that only modern viruses? They do their best to make you part of a botnet without you noticing?
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 8:54 AM on July 1, 2013

It seems that back in the day, viruses were written just for the lulz, but these days they are written with financial gain in mind. Thus the splashy graphics and general fucking with you are gone, replaced by a silent system that is there to do more damage. In a weird way, I think this is a shame, that the viruses have gone, for lack of a better term, corporate.

Or maybe I never saw the money making viruses on my old 98 machine.

Also, (of course) related XKCD.
posted by Hactar at 9:01 AM on July 1, 2013 [5 favorites]

The words ILOVEYOU and Melissa appearing in front of me on any computer in any program will client will basically always trigger PTSD and flashbacks before I can manage to remember I haven't had Outlook installed on anything I use in nearly a decade.

I was working on the front lines in an all Microsoft and Outlook/Exchange centric shop when ILOVEYOU/Melissa happened and it was a pretty amazing clusterfuck. We were basically completely primed to be the perfect host for that one. Slightly clueless but highly enabled and connected users, early wifi everywhere, a large mobile deployment of about ten thousand laptops in addition to a similar number of desktops.

All day long no matter how many signs we posted and messages we sent begging people to not open that email, it was still opened at an alarming rate, and with departmental and campus wide contact lists all embedded on local machines each new infection released tens of thousands of new copies, which ended up being millions of messages in less than 8 hours.

It took down our Exchange server for 3 days, even after we just started stripping all attachments until the infection cleared and we could bring down and patch the server.

It was amazing for such a simple, stupid little virus.
posted by loquacious at 7:40 PM on July 1, 2013 [3 favorites]

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