20th anniversary of the PC virus

I was mildly shocked to get a release this week from F-Secure, telling me that the PC virus was 20 years old this month.

It was, of course, back in January 1986 when the Brain boot sector virus first appeared. The virus, which promulgated itself via floppy disk, was relatively benign, but started the whole malware ballgame rolling.

It was in the summer of that year that I first encountered Alan Solomon - who founded S&S Software, one of the first anti-virus companies.

I met up with Alan at a PC User show in the summer of that year and berated him for selling shareware anti-virus software. How little I knew about the IT security industry. (Hah! - Ed).

Alan, of course, went on to make his fortune in the industry, and his company released some of the finest IT security packages going.

Today, there are more than 150,000 viruses in circulation (says F-Secure) and the numbers are growing rapidly.

Rather like the candles on my birthday cake earlier in the week...