Monthly Archives: February 2011

20 years of Windows Malware

An interesting, if rather lengthy, article over at InfoWorld discusses the long history of Windows malware (though the first few viruses mentioned are strictly speaking not Windows malware at all rather DOS .com infectors).

I’m not really sure what these articles tell us, more than that it’s been a long and fairly inglorious progression from the early days of hobbyist malware to the crime driven tsunami of fraudware that we have now. Of course it’s always interesting to revisit the past, but I’m not convinced it tells us much about the future. One thing is sure though, as the systems on which we run the world have progressed, so have the malware and security issues that we face. This is unlikely to change, and with new platforms and new paradigms, we will face new security challenges.

Talking of new challenges, some of you might be aware that I’ve got a new job, so I’ve pretty much left the running of AVIEN to David Harley, and I’ll leave it to him to take it forward in his own inimitable style. As with the progression of malware (and indeed progress in general) looking at the past doesn’t always mean that what you see is relevant to the future. AVIEN grew out of a specific need – to get fast information shared between beleaguered security admins – and developed from there into a network of interested professionals. I still feel there’s a need for it, as clearly do the members, but it remains to be seen exactly what form it will take in the future – however, with David at the helm, I’m sure it’s in good hands.

Andrew Lee
(Former) AVIEN CEO