The popularity of a museum for old computer viruses has taken its creator by surprise. Now he hopes to raise money to preserve knowledge digitally
The creator of an online malware museum has called on its visitors to make a donation to the Internet Archive – a non-profit ‘library of the future’.
The malware museum is a collection of malware programs – mainly viruses – that were used to infect home computers back in the 1980s and 1990s. Since its launch four days ago it has already attracted more than 100,000 visitors.
Once the viruses infected systems, they would often display animation or messages explaining that the computers had been infected.
Museum creator Mikko Hypponen said that through the use of emulations, and additionally removing any destructive routines within the viruses, the collection of malware enables visitors to safely experience virus infection of yesteryear.
He added: “Most of the malware we analyse today is coming from organised criminal groups and intelligence agencies. Old school happy hackers who used to write viruses for fun are nowhere to be seen.
“Everyone enjoying the malware museum, please consider making a donation to the Internet Archive.”
The Internet Archive aims to give everyone access to books, web pages, audio, television and software.
About 20 million books are downloaded each month from the archive, and it preserves one billion Web captures per week, offering them to the public free of charge.
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