A software program first written Rich Skrenta in 1982 who was a 15-year old high school student. Known as The Elk Cloner this virus spread to other computers by monitoring the floppy drive and copying itself to any floppy diskette that was inserted into the computer. Once a floppy diskette became infected it would infect all other computers that disk was inserted into, each computer that was infected would then infect every floppy diskette inserted into it. A computer that was infected would also display a short poem on every 50th boot.
The concept of a computer program capable of reproducing itself was first mentioned by John von Neumann in his 1949 "Theory of self-reproducing automata" essay. Later, Fred Cohen in 1983 later coined the term virus in a 1984 research paper as "a computer program that can affect other computer programs by modifying them in such a way as to include a (possibly evolved) copy of itself." Today, a computer virus is a software program, script, or macro that has been designed to infect, destroy, modify, or cause other problems with a computer or software programs. Users can protect themselves and remove any viruses on the computer by installing an antivirus protection program, which is designed to detect, protect, and clean any computer viruses.
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Also see: Antivirus, Boot sector virus, CMOS virus, Companion virus, Executable virus, Hoax, Intruder, Logic bomb, Macro virus, MBR virus, Multipart virus, Non resident virus, Overwrite virus, Polymorphic virus, Resident virus, Stealth virus, Trojan horse, Vaccine, Security definitions, Software definitions, Worm, Zoo