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The Computer Virus Culture

Jamie Mitchell
April 2004

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Relatively speaking, computer viruses are a new and unique phenomenon among computer users. During the beginning of the computer revolution computer security was only a passing concern. The industry was more concerned with 'phreakers', a term given to people who were able to manipulate telephone networks, than with damaging software (Krebs, 2003). Indeed, the idea of a 'computer virus' was not thought of until 1983, when PhD student Fred Cohen coined the term (Krebs, 2003). At the time the term computer virus was used to describe a program that can "affect other computer programs by modifying them in such a way as to include a (possibly evolved) copy of itself" (Krebs, 2003).

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