NEWS FROM THE LAB - Saturday, June 12, 2004

Virus Description Database: online for 10 years Posted by Mikko @ 11:20 GMT

Ten years ago, to the date, we set up a new service to our web site. We decided it would be cool to have an online database of virus descriptions so that anybody could browse them over the internet. Back then, this was a brand new idea, and such service did not exist anywhere. So we launched our Online Virus Description Database on 13th of June, 1994.

Quickly it became one of the most visited services on our site - and now, ten years later, it still is. Even the original address still works: http://www.datafellows.com/v-descs/ (although we've changed the company name from Data Fellows to F-Secure since)...

Back then, the web looked a bit different. Here's a screenshot of the service as it looked like 10 years ago (screenshot from Lynx, the text-based browser):


Although this was the first ever online virus description database, offline versions had existed long before. Our original database was based on the descriptions written by Fridrik Skulason of the F-PROT fame, starting somewhere around 1989 or 1990. Other products had virus descriptions too. Dr. Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit product box even came with a separate book of descriptions, and some antivirus programs, such as Central Point Antivirus (CPAV) had a built-in hypertext database (some of you might remember that CPAV was the basis of Microsoft Antivirus v1.0, which was discontinued few years later).

There was even a DOS-based shareware hypertext application called VSUM, made by Patricia Hoffman. Haven't seen that for a while, though.

Anyway, this is what the front page of our site looked like 10 years ago:


You can find more info on ancient web history from our Webtennial pages.