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Internet Archive •

Some of the viruses in the museum were just meant to be funny and didn’t cause any damage.

(Mirror Daily, United States) – The Internet Archive has now a new surprise for the public. It has gathered a long collection of pesky virtual bugs that used to invade our computers in the ‘80s and ‘90s and organized them into a virtual museum. The malware museum lets you glimpse past viruses that use to give intense headaches to computer owners all around the world.

The flashy internet archive gathered all of the colorful and pixelated viruses that used to affect computers that ran with MS-DOS. The malware museum contains even one of the first viruses that were created to bug the computer users.

Usually featuring flashy graphic and some text, the viruses came in a wide array. Some were just meant to bother the user, some to block the access to certain computer features while others were downright dangerous and were able to burn the hard drive.

No matter the intention with which they were created, the viruses have been now stripped of all their destructive capacities and gathered into an Internet Archive that people can access and experience the thrills an MS-DOS user got when encountering the flashy images on the screen.

The curator of the collection, Mikko Hypponen who is also an expert in computer security has spent more than half of its life collecting, analyzing and writing about the pesky computer viruses that started to spread as soon as the internet was launched. So he took his impressive, harmless collection to Jason Scott, the “curator” of the Internet Archives. This collaboration brought the malware museum which can be freely visited by any person with an internet connection.

One of the most interesting viruses in the collection is the Casino virus. This one was a particularly interesting nuisance. The virus didn’t affect the computer’s hardware in any harmful way, but it did obligate the user to play a game.

The basic idea of the Casino was that it copied all of the files in the RAM. If you managed to beat the Disk Destroyer game that it generated it would restore your files and disappear, but if you didn’t it would destroy all of your files and all data in the computer would have been lost.

There were others, harmless viruses, too. The Coffshop virus would display a pixelated image of a cannabis plant with message “Legalize Cannabis” next to it.

Or the Elvira virus that made the screen go black and a very romantic message would flow on the screen in a Star Wars style. The virus was inspired by a famous ‘90s woman, Elvira.

The entire collection can be seen here.

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