Brain: The First Computer Virus


Considered to be the first computer virus, Brain was released in its first form in January 1986.  The virus affected the IBM PC by replacing the boot sector of a floppy disk with a copy of the virus. The real boot sector is moved to another sector and marked as bad and the disk label is changed to ©Brain. The following text was seen in infected boot sectors:

“Welcome to the Dungeon (c) 1986 Brain & Amjads (pvt) Ltd VIRUS_SHOE RECORD V9.0 Dedicated to the dynamic memories of millions of viruses who are no longer with us today – Thanks GOODNESS!! BEWARE OF THE er..VIRUS : this program is catching program follows after these messages….$#@%$@!!”

Brain was written brothers Basit and Amjad Iqbal from Lahore, Pakistan. The brothers told TIME magazine they had written the virus to protect their medical software from piracy, and it was supposed to target copyright infringers only. Their version of the virus came with the brothers’ address,  phone numbers, and a message that stated the machine was infected and to call them for assitance:

“Welcome to the Dungeon © 1986 Basit * Amjad (pvt) Ltd. BRAIN COMPUTER SERVICES 730 NIZAM BLOCK ALLAMA IQBAL TOWN LAHORE-PAKISTAN PHONE: 430791,443248,280530. Beware of this VIRUS…. Contact us for vaccination…”


The brothers are still in business in Pakistan as Brain NET Internet service providers with a company called Brain Telecommunication Limited.