The Bulgarian and Soviet Virus Factories
Vesselin Bontchev, Director
Laboratory of Computer Virology
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria
It is now well known that Bulgaria is leader in computer virus
production and the USSR is following closely. This paper tries to
answer the main questions: Who makes viruses there, What viruses are
made, and Why this is done. It also underlines the impact of this
process on the West, as well as on the national software industry.
1) How the story began
Just three years ago there were no computer viruses in Bulgaria.
After all, these were things that can happen only in the capitalist
countries. They were first mentioned in the April issue of the
Bulgarian computer magazine "Komputar za vas" ("Computer for you")
[KV88] in a paper, translated from the German magazine "Chip" [Chip].
Soon after that, the same Bulgarian magazine published an article
[KV89]], explaining why computer viruses cannot be dangerous. The
arguments presented were, in general, correct, but the author had
completely missed the fact that the majority of PC users are not
A few months later, in the fall of the same year, two men came in the
editor's office of the magazine and claimed that they have found a
computer virus. Careful examination showed that it was the VIENNA
At that time the computer virus was a completely new idea for us. To
make a computer program, whose performance resembles a live being, is
able to replicate and to move from computer to computer even against
the will of the user, seemed extremely exciting.
The fact that "it can be done" and that even "it had been done"
spread in our country like wildfire. Soon hackers obtained a copy of
the virus and began to hack it. It was noticed that the program
contains no "black magic" and that it was even quite sloppily
written. Soon new, home--made and improved versions appeared. Some of
them were produced just by assembling the disassembly of the virus
using a better op Още по темата