History of antivirus

History of Antivirus

In our modern age, almost every computer has inbuilt antivirus software. People rely on them for protection. It’s because of their scanning and isolation features. There are many technologies the world uses to combat online threats. Yet, people often live unaware of their history and origins.

The evolution of antivirus software throughout history.
The evolution of antivirus software throughout history.

How did it start

The idea of antivirus software started in 1971. It was around the time of the widespread infection of the Creeper virus. Creeper was a computer virus that infected Digital Equipment Corporation’s mainframe computers.

In response to this, the Reaper program was born. It was a program that would delete the virus. But it wasn’t technically an antivirus program. Instead, Reaper was also a virus, but with a specific purpose. It’s to cleanse the computers of the Creeper.

Who invented antivirus

Andreas L√ľning and Kai Figge were behind the invention of one of the first antivirus software. In 1987, they invented and launched it under their company, G Data Software AG. Within that same year, they also released the Ultimate Virus Killer (UVK) 2000. It’s another antivirus software. Around the same time, Bernd Robert Fix also developed an antivirus program. It was to get rid of the Vienne virus.

On top of that, McAfee Inc. started in 1987. You may recognize it as a well-known cybersecurity company. It has reliable and updated Antivirus software programs. They released the first-ever version of VirusScan in the same year.

Generally, a good deal of antivirus software started in 1987. It was with various creators and inventors. Mainly, it’s hard to trace the origins of the first-ever antivirus. Yet, these people and tools have paved the way for modern antivirus software.

Early years

The late 80s up until the 90s were the early years of antivirus. It’s when the industry grew at a rapid pace. Several organizations and individuals continued to create and launch antivirus companies and software.

In 1986, Avira was founded. Two years later, it launched the first version of AntiVir. Around the same time, Avast appeared and released the Avast AntiVirus application. These are two big names that remain recognizable until now. Following those two companies, Mikel Urizarbarrena founded Panda Security in 1990. The Computer Antivirus Research Organization (CARO) also popped up that year. The organization had notable members such as Eugene Kaspersky. Kaspersky, later on, created the Kaspersky Lab with his wife.

In 1991, Symantec launched Norton Antivirus. AVG Technologies also appeared in 1991. It launched its first AVG AntiVirus the following year. By the late 90s, more names were popping up. It includes BitDefender and the Kaspersky Anti-Virus. Remarkably, it was a time of great innovation.

Big business 2000

In the 2000s, antivirus advanced even more. Various companies have built on the technologies that started in previous years. They also improved them. New threats popped up, and new protective systems appeared in response. F-Secure was the first cybersecurity company to create an anti-rootkit tool called BlackLight. It was In 2005. Two years later, Panda Security utilized cloud technology in their antivirus product. 

In 2008, McAfee followed suit on cloud use. They innovated Artemis, which was an anti-malware function. By this time, Malware was becoming a significant threat. Thus, the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO) was also created. They were an organization that would work on testing anti-malware cloud products. AVG would follow up on this trend in 2011. It’s with their Protective Cloud Technology, a similar program to Artemis. Other functions, such as OS security, were invented in the decade. They became another layer of protection for users.

Indeed, the 2000s was a year of innovations in the antivirus industry. Antivirus became a big business and a significant sector that would grow for years. The online world was booming, and so were threats and the software that existed to combat them.