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Malware Museum: Visit Retro Viruses In Your Browser

UH OH!

This Future Is Disappointing, Part #87: modern computer viruses are rubbish. Back when it were trees as far as the eye could see, a computer virus played silly noises and animations while it wiped your files. Now they silently perv on your webcam, steal your passwords, and use your PC to mine Bitcoins and knock game servers offline.

Treat yourself today to some vintage viruses with a virtual visit to The Malware Museum. It’s a collection of ’80s and ’90s viruses and malware which run safely in your browser, with loads of colourful animations, bleepy music, and ‘greets’ to ‘crews’.

You might want to imagine the terror of having your PC send out a wailing ambulance or set DOS on fire, having it encourage you to smoke jazz cigarettes or bleep the State Anthem of the Soviet Union. Some draw pretty pictures and some draw trippy pictures, man. Some are really into techno. Some have cool bouncy balls.

My two favourites are Disk Destroyer, which threatens to delete your files but will let you play a one-armed bandit to save them, and CRASH.COM, which is the colourful gibberish that movies have led me to want in a virus (here’s a short burst).

But which do you like best? Go have a look! It’s all perfectly safe, don’t worry: they’ve been defanged and run inside a DOSBox emulation, so there’s no risk of them infecting your own floppy disks. You can also download them as souvenirs.

The Malware Museum is a collaboration between Jason Scott, curator of the excellent TEXTFILES.COM and opener of the Infocom cabinet (among other things), and security expert Mikko Hypponen.

And it's beautiful in motion!

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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