The story of how hacking activities have gone from fun to money hungry
Computer viruses and malware have been around for many years. Malware creators of the late-’80s and the ‘90s were tech-savvy people trying to prove their skills, have a little fun, and test their limits.
It all started out as fun and games
The virus Cascade, for example, didn’t cause any real harm in the sense that it did not alter any files, spy on the infected device, or steal files. It simply caused letters to cascade on the infected device’s screen and pile up on the bottom, like leaves falling from a tree. Similarly, the Ping Pong virus showed a ball bouncing back and forth and the worst thing the virus did was crash the computer, but this only happened on certain types of machines.
Back then, viruses and malware spread slowly, as they mainly spread via floppy disks. That meant it could take months for a virus to reach different countries. In fact, some of the early viruses are named after cities, like the Vienna virus or Sevilla2.
Further reading: The history of cybersecurity
Around 1996, macro viruses started becoming popular. Macro viruses are viruses designed to live within Microsoft Word documents. The internet was gaining some popularity by this time, and users started sharing documents, creating an opportunity for virus creators to spread their viruses more widely and at a quicker rate.
In 1999, email worm ..