Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"[Science fiction is] an integration of the mood and attitude of science (the objective universe) with the fears and hopes that spring from the unconscious."
- Gregory Benford

Computer Virus  
  A software program that copies itself to other computers.  

Probably the earliest description of a computer virus.

You know as well as I what the cartels are doing these days. It was even tougher then, ICS owned Sapiro and Garner. As long as they were employed there the company could arrange their ‘disappearance’ and few would be the wiser. They lived in a company town that looked the other way when company goons dispensed justice. No, the risk wasn’t worth it. The scope would have to be a lot bigger — and the profits — before they could afford to make the gamble.

“Garner was the better technician but Sapiro knew the way management’s mind worked. Any fool knew computer time was worth money. The corporations would take pains to be sure no one could make away with sizable chunks of it, chunks large enough to perform a respectable calculation. So Sapiro figured he’d do just the reverse of what ICS expected.”

“Oh? I—”

“Here’s what he did. He had to have Garner’s help, of course, in hiding the initial program inside a complicated subroutine, so even a careful search wouldn’t find it. That was Garner’s only contribution, and a good thing, too, because he wasn’t a man who could deal with people. He knew nothing of character, couldn’t tell a thief from a duke. Or so Sapiro thought.”

“Then Sapiro—” I said. The only way to get Nigel to hold on the subject was to threaten to interrupt, a theory which was quickly verified when he raised his voice a decibel and plunged on:

“The program he logged in instructed the computer to dial a seven digit telephone number at random. Now, most phones are operated by people. But quite a few belong to computers and are used to transfer information and programming instrucions to other computers. Whenever a computer picks up the receiver — metaphorically, I mean — there’s a special signal that says it’s a computer, not a human. Another computer can recognize the signal, see.

“Sapiro’s computer just kept dialing at random, hanging up on humans, until it got a fellow computer of the same type as itself. Then it would send a signal that said in effect, ‘Do this job and charge it to the charge number you were using when I called.’ And then it would transmit the same program Sapiro tad programmed into it.”

“So that—” I said.

“Right on. The second computer would turn around and start calling at random intervals, trying to find another machine. Eventually it would.”

From The Scarred Man, by Gregory Benford.
Published by Venture in 1970
Additional resources -

See also the somewhat more famous computer tapeworm from John Brunner's The Shockwave Rider (1975).

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Scarred Man
  More Ideas and Technology by Gregory Benford
  Tech news articles related to The Scarred Man
  Tech news articles related to works by Gregory Benford

Articles related to Computer
'No Man's Sky' - The Matrix Is Almost Ready
Google's Project Tango VR Tablet Pictures Your 3D World
Oculus Rift Combats Battlefield Trauma
Google Offers Future Prediction In The Cloud

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Electric Bacteria That Live On Pure Energy
'April 5, 1977; that was the night the waveries came.'

EXACTO Smart Bullet From DARPA
Nicely visualized in what 1984 movie?

Neural Implant To Treat Memory Loss
'You've got remote storage. How regular is the update?'

MIT's Shape-Shifting Robot Materials
The T-100, an advanced prototype, is made of liquid metal. Not quite ready.

LS3 AlphaDog Robot Marine Corps Video
'He admired the fast-plodding, articulated legs, so necessary since roads had degenerated...'

Vantablack Is Blacker Than Your Black
'Well, we have a black coating now that’s ninety-nine percent absorptive...'

Remotely Operated Gardening Rover - Student's Space Agricultural Robot
'There were things growing all over the place, not just in some domed enclosures blasted some millions of miles out in to space.'

Revisiting A Cloud City On Venus
Lando Calrissian, are you still available?

'No Man's Sky' - The Matrix Is Almost Ready
Ready for an adventure, Neo?

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.