It seems that every day huge companies are getting hacked, client data is getting stolen, and user accounts are getting compromised by more and more advanced breaches of computer systems. It wasn’t always like this. In the early days of the Internet, hacking took on more of a jovial tone, meant mostly to annoy or inconvenience users. Admittedly, there was significantly less sensitive information available on computers for hackers to steal back then, but these were simpler times in the grand scheme of things. If you yearn for those days, or just want to see some of the shenanigans that hackers got into in the 80’s and 90’s we’ve got you covered. The Internet Archive has recently opened the Malware Museum, a place to view and run a selection of malware that was propagated in the early days of the Internet.
Today, most of the hacks and breaches you read about are all about keeping a low profile. The hackers don’t want anybody to realize that they’ve gained access to their target, and would prefer to be able to sieve data quietly, not drawing any attention. That is in great contrast to some early forms of Malware, many of which wanted to let the user know that they’d been compromised, often flashing messages or crude graphics across the screen before crashing the system or corrupting system files.
At the source link below you can find examples of 79 different types of malware and viruses from the 80’s and 90’s. They’ve been stripped of any damaging or destructive capabilities, but are otherwise complete recreations. You can view the message or animation that accompanied the virus via several safe methods including DOSBox emulation, or even animated gifs.
What do you remember about malware and viruses in the early days of the Internet? Tell us all about it in the comments below, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.