Archived viruses, was Re: Reasonable price for a complete SOL-20 system?

Fred Cisin cisin at
Mon Oct 24 13:24:56 CDT 2016

On Mon, 24 Oct 2016, ethan at wrote:
> I *DO* remember that in the local BBS wars, people who were toying with 
> MS-DOS viruses would make them then submit them to the AV companies to get 
> them on "the list." The huge list of viruses that the software would defend 
> against. But in reality, they were never in the wild.

At the time of the "Michelangelo" panic, it did not appear to be in the 
wild.  (ZERO of the "hundreds" of disks destroyed during scanning at UC 
Berkeley student computer labs were retained for analysis)
The AV companies had copies, and they provided them to each other 
and to the media.  It wasn't until later that copies started to leak out 
into the wild.  In fact, we speculated that what was being found were 
wannabe variants, created from "Stoned", and INSPIRED by and after the 
The ones that we finally ran into were blatently obviously simply slightly 
modified versions of "Stoned", but THAT aspect was never mentioned by the 
AV companies nor the media during the panic.

> Oh and the local guy that was involved at a high level with the DOS Virus 
> group, he said at a party that had a bunch of DOS virus authors John 
> MacAffee was there partying with them. No proof and he probably wouldn't 
> admit saying that today (was told to me in the early 2000s).

Wouldn't be surprising.  I knew one fellow, with journalistic ties, who 
partied with both groups.  He threw a Comdex party at the Landmark Hotel 
with a lot of strange people.

There were rumors at the time, that McAfee was involved in creating 
"Michelangelo" and the panic.  But, until there is some evidence, I would 
give him the benefit of the doubt; and there's no way to ask him now (he's 
currently a murder suspect fugitive).

Creation of the "Michelangelo" variants that we saw did not require any 
expertise, just some disassembly of "Stoned" and some trivial patching.
Creation of the PANIC was an impressive feat of showmanship.

THAT (creation of the "Michelangelo" panic), and Harold Hill of Meredith 
Wilson's "Music Man" ("You've got TROUBLE, right here in River 
City") really helped train a lot of people how to make money off of Y2K.
The college probably spent more than $300 average PER MACHINE testing and 
preparing for Y2K!  (Since there were friends and relatives of upper 
officials working with the contractors, exact amounts spent were not 
clearly revealed)

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at

More information about the cctalk mailing list