Say Happy 40th Birthday to the Computer Virus

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In 1971, a message popped up on a screen: “I’m the creeper, catch me if you can!” A nod to Scooby Doo, the first virus was called the Creeper.

Also, thanks to time flying like the wind, it’s been four decades, meaning the computer virus is now well into its middle age. Also, it’s now older than me.

How has it fared since then? In 1990, just a little under 20 years since its birth, only 1,300 computer viruses roamed the planet. That’s probably because back then, the laptop computer hadn’t proliferated beyond the brick stage and people actually were forced to function without cellphones.

Now that everyone owns a doodad of some sort, and cell phones are virtually becoming miniaturized computers, more than 200 million viruses roam the digital sphere today. Wonder what we’ll see by the time 2021 rolls around?

(via PhysOrg)

More on TIME.com:

Pwn2Own Roundup: Apple Fails, Google Stays Strong

‘Security’ That Makes A Grab For Your Wallet

Trojan Horse vs. Your Computer

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