Lahore: Home of First Ever Computer Virus

IMG_0457Just in case if you don’t know, First ever PC computer virus, named as Brain, was written by two Pakistani bothers, Amjad Farooq Alvi and Basit Farooq Alvi, who are currently running an ISP, IPTV, Telephony and various other services under the name of Brain Telecommunication Limited.

Birthplace of this harmless virus is exactly where Brain’s office is today, and interestingly, both the brothers mentioned their address in virus code that they had written:

Welcome to the Dungeon
(c) 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………… $#@%[email protected]!!

At 25th anniversary of computer viruses, Mikko Hypponen, Chief Research Officer at F-Secure, visited Pakistan to look for the home of 25 years old BRAIN virus, which turned out to be the root of multi billion anti-virus software industry.

This virus was not destructive in nature, in fact, it was created to test the replication attributes of DOS. Brain was capable of copying itself to every disk that was inserted in Brain-hit computer. The only effect of BRAIN virus was that it used to change the disk label (the “name” of the disk). The volume label used to change to read: “©Brain”

Following is the video that Mikko released on the lookout of Brain and its owners,

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


        • hey wait a minute!!! this is not negativity, rather it is openness and the multi-billionaire industry should be thankful to Pakistani talent.

          • What are you talking about? The people who did the hard work WRITING programs lost money because of the brothers.

            Do you know the size of the Pakistani software industry that sells software to Pakistanis? It almost doesn’t exist because everyone pirates software!

            • Exit your mole hole and check yourself. You thought IBM, TeraData, MSFT are idiots that they have established offices in Pak? Janab our IT industry is unsung hero. It is eclipsed by news of terrorism and corruption of govt. Just a piece of advice, dont try to fit your head where it does not belong. And now, dont pretend to be some HRM or some software house or something. “On internet, no one knows you are a dog”. Im well aware of these tactics.

              • Go to any shop or read any trade magazine — is there any Pakistani IT PRODUCT (not service or site) that you can buy and install on YOUR computer (not your work computer or server)?

                WHERE ARE THE CONSUMER PRODUCTS FROM THIS UNSUNG HERO IT INDUSTRY? Where was our IT industry in the 1980s and 1990s?

                Oh thats right, they couldnt compete with Rs 50 CDs of pirated software and still cant.

                Piracy destroyed our IT products industry before it was even born.

                • listen mate!! My apologies for using slangs but people like you only _____ around, to them for whom its merely a _____, wont be demoralized. Rather than considering urself or ur country an unpleasant place spread around the word of hope.

                  What you are referring to is about called “AWARENESS” that comes in handy with educating ur consumer audience. With a literacy rate of under 50% what more you can expect? Also, on the brighter side, this piracy enabled your illiterate audience among with the rest to get hands on with such cutting edge technologies of that era.

                  [Comment Edited]

                  • Piracy also means that if a businessman or industry owner wants some software, he will NOT CULTIVATE LOCAL TALENT. Why would he justify spending hundreds of thousands of Rs when he can instead have someone buy pirated software for Rs 50 and have his employees figure it out?

                    You forget that angle. What interest does the business class have in cultivating local talent?

            • Mr. Shahid Saleem what do you want we should pay $500 = 42500 Rs for a single software and the westerns would suck out our money and do you think how much they pay us for there jobs done in Pakistan almost nothing

              • You still don’t get my point! You think there are two options:

                1. buy (imported) software at high prices
                2. buy pirated software at low prices

                I keep pointing out that there COULD HAVE BEEN a third option:

                3. buy (locally created) software at low prices

                Why doesn’t option 3 exist? Because the cost of local software is less than the cost of imported software but still more than pirated software.

                Would you pay Rs 50 for pirated software, or Rs 4,000 for locally developed? If you are like most people in Pakistan, Rs 50! This means, no local industry!

                Answer me this. all those training institutes for Oracle and all those students studying in them. Do you think they end up working with licensed copies of Oracle after the training? Most of them work with pirated copies! That’s what the industry uses! Cheaper to buy pirated copies of ORacle instead of trying to take free software like Mysql or Postgresql and add features to it and sell those enhancements.

                And yet, if a local company could enhance Postgresql and sell their solution, do you know who would buy it? Not anyone in Pakistan!

                The only real market for software products is outside Pakistan, here piracy has ruined everything.

                • Boss I am not talking about any Local Accounting or Inventory software They have still good Market in Pakistan but Can u please mention a name of any Pakistani Software house who build there own OS, So We can also use it or any Firm who developed software like Adobe CS and Sorry I can not afford Adobe CS Price of around $500 or Microsoft Windows and Sir Can I ask you, Are you Never used a Pirated Windows

                  • We do not need a WHOLE NEW OPERATING SYSTEM. It is not ALL OR NOTHING.

                    Example: go to http://www.amazon.com and select “software” from the Computers & office menu. Select a category (like utilities or photo editing or document management. Click on $20 to $50. Now tell me, do you see any software that is useful for companies or home use in Pakistan. Is $20 TOO MUCH TO SPEND? It is only Rs 1800 to Rs 5000!

                    Okay, you want to pirate the operating system, that’s your business. But we can compete with software packages, but only if someone BUYS from local companies.

                    All the people who say the “west takes our money with $$$ software” don’t you think there are MUSLIM software developers in the West? Don’t you think you steal from them, too? What about Western companies that outsource to people in Pakistan? Do you steal from them? Did you think?

                    Explain it to me. Today a MUSLIM software developer can make money by writing software FOR THE WEST but not make money from his or her fellow MUSLIMS. Does that make sense to you?

                • Sorry I want to correct the Price of Adobe CS Master Collection its current Price is $2600. How could a middle Class Pakistani can Afford this price around 230k, I can’t…

                  Thank you Hope you understand my Intentions

                  • Most people don’t need Adobe cS Master Collection, they can do fine with Adobe Photoshop Elements ($80).

                    • May you are not aware of Current Market So I think don’t Give any conclusion about these softwares and I think we are arguing on Piracy not on Religion so why are you including Muslims I said West I didn’t said Christians or Jews and I am not going to explain the requirements of this current Market of the world or Pakistan but I surely say that in your life one day you used a Pirated Windows or a Pirated software even you watch Pirated Movies But I don’t know what are you going to show here.

                    • — but I surely say that in your life one day you used a Pirated Windows or a Pirated software even you watch Pirated Movies But I don’t know what are you going to show here.

                      That doesn’t change my point: piracy is wrong and hurts local economy. Think of all the PAkistanis who did BS IT or BCS and left for jobs in the West. IS that our only option for making money from software? Either that or crappy PHP or Java for banks and financial houses?

                      Will the next Twitter or Facebook or Orkut come from PAkistan? No. Most good developers leave.

  • This is not negative in any way… they just wrote some code tht latched on to files, it was more ground breaking than anything else. Also at the time this was written the term virus never existed.

    The first malicious viruses made their way in to the computers in the 90’s…. of those viruses, the Pakistanis have very little to do with.

    On an entirely seperate note, viruses are not necessarily malicious. In the current age, viruses are used for positive use such as anti hacking and anti spamming practices.

  • Hahaha Look at this typo
    730 NIZAB BLOCK ALLAMA IQBAL TOWN
    Thanks God you didn’t wrote AZAB Block, Its NIZAM BLOCK PAI JEE, written as نظام in urdu.

  • its not Negative Point .

    it just about doing some thing new then other do .

    LIfe geo Zara Hut kay .

    these 2 brother predict us about future risk .
    and makes us to think about prevention of these risk .

    I love pakistani . i live pakistan . long live pakistan .

    THINK OUT SIDE THE BOX .

  • THey just force us to think about future RISK and their Prevention .

    and i think they are best .

    don’t USE otherz ideas just Create your own Idea .

    i mean ” think out side the box “

  • These two are in my close relations
    I think its a +ve aspect
    Because last but not the least the virus softwares has to come into existence and why not by Pakistanis.
    I think the whole antivirus industry is indebted to them….
    How would Norton and Mcafee would rule the world without them???

    • Ask yourself instead why there are no Pakistani companies writing antivirus software? No local company is the size of Mcafee or Norton

      • Writing antimalware needs access to data from multiple sources and profiling of several thousand machines. Moreover, making something costs a lot. And a company cant survive until there is a return on investment. Needless to mention the cricket game made by pakistanis recently (i guess Mindstorm) and it was struggling until Pepsi sponsored it.

        And next time, watch out before mentioning “size” of Mcafee or Norton. They are absolutely trash softwares. A mildly intelligent rootkit can beat them to death. Thats about their quality. And about size? They have offered their products to OEM people and include them in machines out of box. Further, ISPs offer them to their customers mostly free to charge. Even more, they have ridiculous anti-piracy measures. Hence, they have gone viral.

        [Comment Edited]

        • Excuse me, but where were Norton and Mcafee in the 1980s? Were they large companies then?? No!

          You look at how the companies are NOW and say its hard to compete with them. Why was there no competition twnty years ago? Where were our heroes then?!

          Think of anything that was big back then. Word processors. Spreadsheets. Language compilers. Are you telling me no one in Pakistan could make a local compiler that was like Turbo Pascal or even Borland C++ twenty years ago? I KNOW WE COULD

          But who would buy it? Evweryone would just pirate a copy of Borland C++.

          Wasn’t there an URDU WORD PROCESSOR before anyone else? Where is it now? All I see when I search google is CRACKS for Urdu. HOW PRODUCTIVE IS THAT???

  • Very Proud of them . At least it was there own invention which bought people from F-secure to meet them for research .

  • الحمد اللہ
    اللہ برین کو مذید کامیابیاں نصیب فرمائے۔ آمین
    پچیس برس کے بعد یہ تجزیہ بھی لازم ہے کہ ان برسوں میں کیا کھویا ۔۔۔ کیا پایا؟

  • Really it too amazing.. and not it is not negativity.. In our country so many intelligent people but sadly our government didn’t doing anything for that people.
    It invention is very good for our industry..

  • it’s not negative my dear

    all the pplz who think every negative activities belong to Pakistan is negatives. did u guys do any thing positive for Pakistan????

    think it ‘s first step for Anti virus isn’t?

    • do you listen to yourself??

      That’s like saying “we invented a new kind of disease (computer virus) and that was the first step for inventing cure (antivirus)” You want to take credit for inventing the problem or the cure? Cure didn’t come from us. Cure didn’t make us rich.

  • The Actuall name of virus was C-Brain. and it was not harmless. I was computer programmer in those days. This virus ruined my codes several times.

  • No this is wrong. Just check out wikipedia for first computer virus.

    This pakistani virus was a second computer virus.

  • Pakistan is a well known destructive virus for the whole world …all terrorist elements are found in pakistan ….all evil originates from pakistan …so no wonder ..so called virus was from pakistan

    • I wish this saying comes true, and some bored Pakistani lad inflicts the Indian IT industry with a virus “Brahma X”.

  • Both Indians and Pakistanis use pirated softwares, yet India got a name in IT, while Pakistan doesn’t.
    Pakistan need to create a niche somewhere in between piracy and name brands like IBM,MSFT, …
    One thing struck me as the Finnish guy was about to embark on his voyage to Pakistan. I was wondering how far the Pakistani brothers may have progressed, given the Finnish guy (if he owned that company) had a huge operation. And I was dismayed at seeing their shabby location. A trait that most Pakistanis suffer with, either they are content with whatever they have, or their next venture is to “copy” someone else. NOTHING ORIGINAL. Perhaps this is why Pakistanis claim credit for things which in fact originated elsewhere. “Me Too” episode must come to a close.


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