Truth About Computer Security Hysteria
Columbus Day virus (1989)CATEGORY: Media flops, media fiascoes
Also known as the DataCrime virus. Generally regarded as the first worldwide virus media fiasco. It sparked hysteria in 1989 largely thanks to gullible reporters and clueless pseudo-experts. See the related links for detailed info.
Alan Solomon (formerly of Dr. Solomon's Software, later bought out by Network Associates) wrote the following about the Columbus Day virus media fiasco:
In London, the Royal National Institute for the Blind announced that they'd had a hit [from the Columbus Day virus], and had lost large amounts of valuable research data, and months of work. We investigated this particular incident, and the truth was that they had a very minor outbreak of [the] Jerusalem [virus], and a few easily-replaced program files had been deleted. Four computers were infected. But the RNIB outbreak has passed into legend as a Great Disaster. Actually, the RNIB took more damage from the invasion of the television and print media than from the virus.
Last updated: 2001/2/22