Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bugs in the system

Bugs in the system

Bugs in the system


  • The world’s first true computer virus is the “Elk Cloner,” created by American Rich Skrenta in 1982 on his Apple II computer. The virus would make a poem Skrenta wrote appear every 50th time someone booted an infected disk. Skrenta was in the 9th grade at the time.
  • The first virus to hit computers running Microsoft’s operating system came in 1986, when two brothers in Pakistan wrote a program now dubbed “Brain” – purportedly to punish people who spread pirated software. The virus displayed the phone number of the brothers’ computer shop for repairs.
  • With email came a new way to spread viruses: “Melissa” (1999), “Love Bug” (2000) and “SoBig” (2003) snarled millions of computers by tricking people into clicking on email attachments and launching a program that automatically sent copies to other victims.
  • Many early viruses overwhelmed networks, although later ones frequently corrupt documents or have other destructive properties.
  • More recent viruses steal personal data such as passwords or to create relay stations for making junk email more difficult to trace.
  • There are now hundreds of thousands of viruses worldwide – perhaps more than a million depending on how one counts slight variations.
  • There are even “computer-free” computer viruses. One chain email advised people to delete a particular file from their computer to keep it secure. The file was critical to the system, it turned out. The “virus” that caused its deletion was “executing” only in people’s minds. And you can’t get a virus checker for the brain.


  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Actress’s NGO takes heat for promoting the ruling party

    An actress’s NGO which participated in an election campaign event contrary to the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) has been slammed. Chorn Chanleakena, a celebrity and the president of the Association of Artists Volunteering to Help Society, allegedly led its members in

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not