This is What Computer Viruses Looked Like in the 1990s

Anna Green
Hopes&Fears, Coub
Hopes&Fears, Coub / Hopes&Fears, Coub

Computer viruses have changed a lot over the last few decades. These days, hacking computers is big business, and for the most part, hackers aren’t interested in drawing attention to their work. But back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the computer virus was something of an art form.

Hackers often incorporated “payloads” into their viruses—these were on-screen animations that announced the presence of the virus in a creative way. Payload screens were creative, playful, and often a bit juvenile. While they were certainly an unwelcome surprise for computer users in the ‘90s, nowadays they seem quaintly charming, reminding us of technologically simpler days.

Hopes & Fears has recreated a handful of the most famous viruses from this time period. To learn more about the history of the viruses, check out their site. And (safely) enjoy the videos below:

[h/t Hopes & Fears]