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Virus informatiques : les origines

February 22, 2020


Good evening everyone, in this new video
I will tell you about computers viruses from a different angle:
I will tell you the story of their origins. The story begins shortly after the Second World War. John Louis Von Neumann, mathematician considered today
as one of the fathers of computers of modern computing, proposes
during a conference in Pasadena in 1948 an article entitled “Theory
organization of automata “. This article will also be followed by a
series of courses he will give in 1948 on the theme “Theory and organization of
complex automatons. “The man to whom we owe the idea of ​​programs stored in memory
and editable rather than programs faster but frozen in
material components, evokes the possibility for one program, to take control of another program. He also develops the concepts of
self-production programs, making of him and despite him, the founding father
computer virology theories. In June 1959 the magazine “Scientific American”
publishes an article on self replicating mechanisms written by LS Penrose, titled “Self Reproducing Machines”. Presented in the magazine’s summary
like : “in witch simple units are built which assemble themselves into larger units, which in turn make copies of themselves from other simple units. The process highlights the
same mechanisms of self reproduction as those that can be found in the
biological organisms. In August 1961 three young programmers of the famous
Bell Laboratories at ATT, Robert Thomas Morris, Douglas McIlroy and Victor Vyssotsky, developed a game called Darwin that was played on IBM 7090 mainframe. The game consists of an “umpire” program as well as a section of the computer’s memory, called “the arena” in which 2 or more programs,
written by the players, are loaded. The programs are written in machine language for 7090 on perforated cards, Each of the programs can call a number of functions provided by “umpire”, in order to occupy other locations in the arena, kill enemy programs and fill all free memory with copies of themselves. The game can end after a predefined period of time, or when there is only one program left alive. The player who wrote the the program that remains the last survivor is declared the winner. These programs (the fighters) that confront each other in an arena inspired the film Tron in which a programmer is projected using a dematerialization system, at the heart of a computer system. However, the game did not last because Robert Thomas Morris succeeded in developing a fighter composed of 44 instructions, capable of adapting his strategy and protecting himself, which no one could defeat: thereby, no one developed an opponent and the game was abandoned. It is following Darwin’s abandonment, between 1961 and 1970 that will be born the true ancestor of viruses: the Core War. also called the programmers’ game. Like Darwin from whom it is inspired, Core War consists in having at least 2 programs compete against each other, each of which has the objective of destroying the opposing program(s) and occupying all the available memory while ensuring its proliferation.
The arena now lies within the memory space of a virtual machine called Mars, in which the attacker, who does not know where his opponent’s different segments are located, like a naval battle, must locate and destroy it. The language used to create its fighters in Core War, is called the RedCode:
be careful not to confuse it with the malware “CodeRed”: the latter had in
infected effect in a few hours of hundreds of thousands of machines in
the world. RedCode, therefore, is a language close
the assembler with however a game simplified instructions. It runs
in a virtual machine called Mars for Memory Array Redcode Simulator. There are several versions of the RedCode language in which the number of instructions can vary, but remains (very) close to an assembler. Despite the use of this language with its reduced
instruction set, Core War integrates most of the viral and antiviral mechanisms known today replication, protection, polymorphism, destruction, repair, stealth, code injection, stopping a process and even signature recognition so dear to most of our antivirus products today still. The winner is the one who has the most active copies of the program at the end of the game. In the event that the game is not limited in time, the one who has succeeded in destroying the opposing program is declared the winner. Core War is still
played today and still gives rise to world competitions. In video it gives that: … At the same time in 1971, Bob Thomas created the Creeper, a program
Experimental that turns on Mainframe DEC PDP-10 equipped with the operating system
TENEX, and which has the particularity of copy everything on a system
remote. This is in practice the first Computer Worm, an
other kind of malicious code often mistaken withs viruses.
We have just seen how for almost of ten years the foreshadowing mechanisms
viruses have appeared but it will take still wait more than ten years for
to see the first virus appear … Speaking of this first virus that
can we say? Many sources on internet or elsewhere quote “Brain” as the
first virus in history, this one developed in 1986 by two brothers
Pakistani, the Alvi brothers, were contaminating 5-inch 1/4 diskettes only,
and did not attack hard drives. During the infection “Brain” is
placed on the boot sector floppy then renamed the volume name
of this same floppy disk by the title (C) BRAIN If Brain is the first virus to make
appearance on IBM-PC, he is not the first virus
computer science, whose paternity goes back to Rich Skrenta: a student
American then aged 15, who in 1982 creates “Elk Cloner” on Apple II.
Elk Cloner sent a poem explaining his way of self-replication. Rich
would have succeeded in infecting computers of his friends in their
offering infected pirated games. In 1983 the term virus is used for the
first time to define a program that can infect other programs,
by Frédéric Cohen. It’s his teacher, Leonard Adleman, who would have suggested to him.
Cohen will demonstrate a “virus-like” on a VAX11 / 750 at the University of
Lehigh. After that everything will accelerate Vienna, Stoned, Ping Pong, Waterfall,
Jerusalem, SCA, Byte Bandit, the first “Chameleon” polymorphic viruses will arrive in 1990, followed by in 1992 of Michelangelo who infects 6
million computers, while three years later, the first macro virus
“Concept” appears attacking the documents of Microsoft Word. June 2, 1998 remains
still a memory of terror for a lot of computer scientists
this is their first meeting with CIH a destructive virus called
also Chernobyl, able to flash the bios of your motherboard making
your computer unusable … The years that will follow will make
the fair share of computer worms such as Melissa, Happy99 or ILoveYou
which the press will seize cataloging wrongly as “virus” …
That’s where this video ends at the end of the prehistory of the viruses that
have been for a long time already, entered in the story that we them
know. I hope you enjoyed this story
do not hesitate to like, comment, share this video and I’ll see you soon
for new adventures.

1 Comment

  • Reply Olivier N October 16, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Merci c'est très instructif!
    J’attends la suivante avec impatience!!

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