Press Cuttings on the AIDS Trojan Attack, 1989

Two cuttings from The Independent, thought to date from 1989.  The stories concerns a new trojan horse program, a form of cyberattack that tricks the user into installing malicious software onto their computer.  The program, known as the 'AIDS Trojan' or 'PC Cyborg Trojan', was distributed physically on a disk 'to more than 10,000 addresses in Britain', using a mailing list.  The disk purported to offer information on the AIDS disease.  Once installed, the software monitored the number of times the computer was switched on.  After around 90 startups, all other software on the machine was hidden and a ransom demand appeared.

One of these articles quotes Dr Alan Solomon, 'a leading expert on computer viruses', who described the program as 'extremely wicked and probably the worst thing that's ever happened in the personal computer world.'  The program was the subject of a number of early anti-virus studies and is a fascinating example of a pre-internet cyberattack.

The author of the trojan was located and arrested in 1989.  For more information on the story, read here.

Date : 1989

Creator : The Independent

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH44160. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

Press Cuttings on the AIDS Trojan Attack, 1989

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The Independent

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