« Popdex Revisited | Main | Social software design, circa 1998 »

Be careful what you wish for

Big AP-wide story by Nick Jesdanun on my 1982 elk cloner virus in your papers for the holiday weekend. Fun. Nick also blogged a bit about writing the story.

update ... a reporter in Pittsburgh spotted the story on the wire and called me up to add some local color.

Time to boot up the emulator...

rc$ ../a2/a2 cloner.dsk

THE SMILING ELK: MODIFIED DOS  16/01/82

RICHARD SKRENTA          SLAVE DISKETTE


DISK VOLUME 254

 A 002 HELLO
 T 013 CLONER
 T 020 CLONER 2.0
 B 006 CLONER.OBJ
 B 002 CLONER.OBK

]BLOAD CLONER.OBJ
]CALL -151

*9000L

9000-   02          ???
9001-   A9 FF       LDA   #$FF
9003-   85 4C       STA   $4C
9005-   A9 8F       LDA   #$8F
9007-   85 4D       STA   $4D
9009-   A9 20       LDA   #$20
900B-   8D 80 A1    STA   $A180
900E-   A9 5B       LDA   #$5B
9010-   8D 81 A1    STA   $A181
9013-   A9 A7       LDA   #$A7
9015-   8D 82 A1    STA   $A182
9018-   A9 AD       LDA   #$AD
901A-   8D D1 A4    STA   $A4D1
901D-   A9 B6       LDA   #$B6
901F-   8D D2 A4    STA   $A4D2
9022-   A9 AA       LDA   #$AA
9024-   8D D3 A4    STA   $A4D3
9027-   A9 4C       LDA   #$4C
9029-   8D 13 A4    STA   $A413
902C-   A9 90       LDA   #$90
*9244G

ELK CLONER:

   THE PROGRAM WITH A PERSONALITY


IT WILL GET ON ALL YOUR DISKS
IT WILL INFILTRATE YOUR CHIPS
YES IT'S CLONER!

IT WILL STICK TO YOU LIKE GLUE
IT WILL MODIFY RAM TOO
SEND IN THE CLONER!

*9001G

WRITE PROTECTED

]
The Apple II was such a great computer to learn on. You turn it on, can jump right into a ROM monitor and start typing in assembly. Those were the days. :)

Oh btw that "CLONER 2.0" was the evil version that I never released.

TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Be careful what you wish for:

» Shining Example of Foiled Teamwork from Topix.net Weblog
One of the things I really liked about working at Sun Microsystems in the 90's were the April Fool's Day pranks (it looks like they're still at it, too). And, while you'd think that the guy who invented the computer... [Read More]

Comments (8)

Serge Kotlar:

Hey Rich - great story. Don't know if you remember me (we met briefly at Northwestern years ago...) Never knew you were so famous! :-) Why did they decide to run this story now? Just curious.

What was the code for the first Cloner 1.


How did you learn to do this at 15?

The story has been coming up every year or two recently, and has gotten bigger and bigger over time. CNET did a big story on Cloner in 2003. I don't know why the story seems to be gaining steam as we get further and further away from the event, though. Hmmm.

The cloner source is linked from http://www.skrenta.com/cloner/

I didnt even know you had a Blog!
You could say, because of you, I have my online business!
Take care,

Mark Skrenta:

This brings back memories. I had this on probably all of my old Apple II disks. I can't remember it doing any damage, but it was so disenheartening to type that 'call -151' and see the evidence of infection. "Oh no, not another disk...."

I have a vague memory of an antidote utility as well.

2.0? What was that one capable of?

Tell me more about Cloner 2.0 :D

My first virus memory was when I discovered FORM.B. I noticed that every disk operation took a little longer than it should have. After a while I got a hold of a program that was capable of reading and editing raw disk sectors. I saw the virus code, with a little message, and the boot sector, moved one sector up. The message said something like "If you can read this, you're a real hacker". Damn, I felt good tha day.

(Hey, I should blog about this)

Steve Iams:

Hey Rich,

I actually remember you from that computer lab back in the day , I particularly remember you playing with some code early you called the "Cookie monster" (or something like that).

basically screen would go blank and show a "Computer want a cookie" prompt.

User had to type "oreo" and work resumed.

Good times.
Steve

Steve Iams:

Hey Rich,

I actually remember you from that computer lab back in the day , I particularly remember you playing with some code early you called the "Cookie monster" (or something like that).

basically screen would go blank and show a "Computer want a cookie" prompt.

User had to type "oreo" and work resumed.

Good times.
Steve

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 31, 2007 5:01 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Popdex Revisited.

The next post in this blog is Social software design, circa 1998.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Powered by
Movable Type 3.33