While cleaning up my computer I got to thinking about computer viruses and decided to go ahead and write a twisted blog entry .
A little known trivia is that the computer virus originated as part of an early AI (Artificial Intelegence) experiment. It was designed to be a self replicating computer program.
With the advent of home computers viruses really started to take off. One of the more memoriable early viruses was the Green Worm. This virus showed a green worm "hence the name" crawling across your computer screen. It would "eat" you graphics and spit out non-sense from the other end. Actually, it was quit humorous to watch.
Later came the a serious of time delayed virus that used the X-mas Tree virus as it's poster child. On Dec. 25 the X-mas tree virus would activate and lock out all functions of your computer while displaying a Christmas tree on your monitor. Other notable virus in this genre are the Doomsday virus and the Presidents Day virus.
It wasn't until the internet really picked up that you started seeing trojans, addware, spyware, and dialers. In truth, dialers are becoming obsolete as broadband is becomming more of the norm. They are designed to have you computer dial 900 numbers, and can be easily thwarted by putting a 900 block on your phone line. Trojans are simply programs that hide another more sinister program that opens a "back door" to your computer.
The really sinster viruses are rarely seen by the average user. These are viruses that attack the computer on the machine language side. Instead of deleting files, or doing something to spy or annoy, these viruses tell the computer to destroy itself literally. My first introduction to these viruses was on the Commodore 64. The virus told the disk drive to spin at an increasingly fast rate (well beyond it's rated RPMs). This usually resulted in your disk having holes burned in it from the increased temperature.
On more modern systems, I once saw a virus that told the hard drive to bang it's heads against the spindle. This is like gouging out your eyes with your fingers. I also remember a serious of viruses out that gave the old AT systems commands to send power surges to various areas of the computer (this was a popular high security defense virus). The most extensive damage made the RAM, CPU, and Video card unusable due to damage. On PnP monitors they could also tell the monitor to surge itself and destroy your monitor.
As technology increases, so do the ways to infect and damage a system. The problem these days is that world of virus writers and hackers are spreading out to include more and more individuals. It's even spawned it's own "language". What ever happened to the days when bored child would get destructive by egging the house of the cranky man who hated kids?