WOT!! No Anti - Virus Software .....
February 5, 2016 6:36 AM   Subscribe

The Malware Museum (archive.org) is a collection of malware programs, usually viruses, that were distributed in the 1980s and 1990s on home computers. Once they infected a system, they would sometimes show animation or messages that you had been infected. Through the use of emulations, and additionally removing any destructive routines within the viruses, this collection allows you to experience virus infection of decades ago with safety.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage (18 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Artw at 6:42 AM on February 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

It requires access to the Something Awful archives, but here's an hilarious thread wherein an IT worker discovers a file on a user's machine, "crack.exe", which turns out to be a dialer that installs malware and more dialers which in turn install more malware and even more dialers... Notable lines include "Man, its like the K++ Codec pack of malware. That thing installs the complete package." and "It's been running for 5 hours now and it's still installing crap. Right before lunch it started playing slot machine noises."
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:53 AM on February 5, 2016 [7 favorites]

An old roommate of mine once had a temp job in a doctors' office where they had a computer that was riddled with malware - he offered to get rid of it all for them, but they had no idea what malware even was, because they were pretty much clueless about how computers worked. So he started showing them what all the problems were and offering to rid them of each one (and each time he pointed out "okay, so this display is from this virus", they'd marvel, "oh, so THAT'S why that's happening!").

He said that when he showed them the "Ambulance" virus, they asked him to leave it because "no, we like it because it's an ambulance and we're a doctor's office, get it? It's cute!" that's when he gave up.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:55 AM on February 5, 2016 [19 favorites]

I'm disappointed this one wasn't on their list.
posted by Tchad at 7:02 AM on February 5, 2016

I've got a couple 5 1/4 inch floppies at home, one with the Joshi virus, one with something called Flip, which would flip the infected computer's screens upside down.

I was a computer tech in the DOS days, right around when viruses first became a thing. It was weird going from "always a hardware problem" to "possibly a virus." When they first started appearing we didn't k now what the hell was going on. We used a bunch of diagnostic utilities on 5 1/4 floppies (the original Norton Disk Doctor, when it was useful) and we'd always have to make sure they were write-protected so we didn't spread viruses to all our customers.

We had one customer who just had a bunch of weird things happening their computers. One of the techs implied that they "had a virus around here somewhere", and waved his arm as if he meant the virus was in the air. The customer bought it, because nobody knew anything back then. Good times.
posted by bondcliff at 7:02 AM on February 5, 2016 [7 favorites]

Ah, things that came before when my toolkit was needed :D
posted by deezil at 7:05 AM on February 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

no stoned virus, bummer.
posted by k5.user at 7:15 AM on February 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

"...one with something called Flip..."

That one is emulated in the link!
posted by synthetik at 7:32 AM on February 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

I had a disk that was labeled "viruses." I used to see how many I could get it infected with.

Remove? No.

I had one called something like "Monkey B" but I never knew what any of them actually did.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:50 AM on February 5, 2016

> I had one called something like "Monkey B"

It wasn't for a Macintosh, was it?
posted by ardgedee at 9:09 AM on February 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I remember when I was very young we would unplug the family computer from the wall outlet whenever Good Morning America talked about a new virus.

Reader, we did not even have Internet service.
posted by books for weapons at 9:11 AM on February 5, 2016 [12 favorites]

Every time I think archive.org can't get more awesome they pull out something new.

They're preserving viruses, people!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:37 AM on February 5, 2016

Subject: "Very dangerous" computer virus

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.

It will give your ex-girlfriend your new phone number. It
will mix Kool-aid into your fishtank. It will drink all your beer and
leave its socks out on the coffee table when there's company coming over. It will put a dead kitten in the back pocket of your good suit pants and hide your car keys when you are late for work.

Goodtimes will make you fall in love with a penguin. It will
give you nightmares about circus midgets. It will pour sugar in your gas tank and shave off both your eyebrows while dating your girlfriend behind your back and billing the dinner and hotel room to your Discover card.

It will seduce your grandmother. It does not matter if she
is dead, such is the power of Goodtimes, it reaches out beyond the grave to sully those things we hold most dear.
posted by Sebmojo at 11:03 AM on February 5, 2016 [5 favorites]

No Yankee Doodle
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:32 PM on February 5, 2016

I worked at Target for a little while, and somehow the computer in the Photo section got infected with some malware that would keep popping up a page in IE written mostly in... Thai, maybe? I looked it up at home later and apparently it was telling me not to do drugs.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:57 PM on February 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Through the use of emulations, and additionally removing any destructive routines within the viruses, this collection allows you to experience virus infection of decades ago with safety.
This reminds me of that episode of Star Trek where Professor Moriarty escapes from a HoloDeck program. The Enterprise crew solve the problem by putting Moriarty’s consciousness (and that of his special lady friend) into a chip that basically emulates the galaxy in the 24th century (and allowing the unwitting Moriarty to live out his “life” exploring it).
posted by blueberry at 10:28 AM on February 6, 2016

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