Viruses are works of art at The Malware Museum

Viruses in today’s world are generally thought of as silent assassins. They sneak in under a cover of darkness/porn and lodge themselves in the rafters waiting to sever your credit card details from your torso. In the 1980s and 1990s, however, they belonged to a different school of disruption, boasting a theatrical flair envied by even the campest of Bond villains. 

Those halcyon days of MS-DOS can now be enjoyed danger-free courtesy of The Internet Archive, which has compiled a collection of emulated, de-toothed, virus splash screens at The Malware Museum. These range from a frenzy of multicoloured symbols called CRASH.COM to a virus called Q FRODO.COM that simply plasters FRODO LIVES! in big letters.


The collection has been put together by Mikko Hermanni Hyppönen, chief resource officer at Finnish security firm F-Secure. Only the visual effects of the viruses have been preserved, so you don’t have to worry about being hacked by a 30-year-old piece of code.

While there are some gems in the collection, the epitome of garish hack-boasting has to be the fictional virus in the original Jurassic Park: “Ah ah ah, you didn’t say the magic word.” 

NEXT: Check out the psychedelic world of GIF art

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