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Malware Defense History

by Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov.

Copyright: Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov 1994-2013. Unpublished notes. Version 0.80.October, 2013

Contents : Foreword : Ch01 : Ch02 : Ch03  : Ch04 : Ch05 : Ch06 : Ch07 : Ch08 : Ch09 : Ch10 : Ch11 : Ch12 : Ch13

Chapter 1: An Overview of Malware History

An overview of Malware development history

To get a proper understanding of this topic, let's first review the history of this subject. Any serious researcher would agree that the antivirus industry (as well as now newly minted antispyware vendors) is to a large extent a by-product of Microsoft products. and not only operating systems. Some Microsoft applications such as MS Word gave a start new types of viruses.  Of course Microsoft was not a single reason, but due to its dominance and inability (or lack of desire) to close some holes in Windows, until recently it played a major role in creating malware friendly environment and stimulating growth of anti-virus vendors.

The history of antivirus/anti-malware software closely corresponds to the history of viruses and worms themselves. It started with boot and file viruses in MS DOS days and anti-virus software vendors of those ancient period. Some of them like  McAfee, Symantec and Kaspersky managed to survive from those days. 

History of PC malware can be viewed as consisting of the several overlapping stages: