Although there are many variations of the wording, the basic script in binary code was as follows:
“Welcome to the Dungeon © 1986 Basit & Amjad (pvt). BRAIN COMPUTER SERVICES 730 NIZAM BLOCK ALLAMA IQBAL TOWN LAHORE-PAKISTAN PHONE: 430791,443248,280530. Beware of this VIRUS…. Contact us for vaccination…” – Click here to watch
As far as anyone knows, this was the only instance of the actual name, address, and telephone number of its creators placed within the code of the virus. The brothers insist to this day that the Brain virus isn’t meant to be malicious, but that they were merely protecting their software, which they continue to operate as Brain Computer Services in Pakistan today.
To their credit, the term virus is actually an acronym for the phrase Virtual Information Resources Under Siege. As you can see, the context of these words aren’t malicious. But the Brain VIRUS would inevitably turn into a problem.
Before the advent of the flash drive, DVD, and external disk drives, the floppy disk was the standard for temporary storage of data and files. In the case of the Brain virus, it was a 5.25-inch floppy disk. The brothers wrote the code of the virus in the File Allocation Table or (FAT) of the floppy disk. While the virus would not infect the hard drive of a computer, it would, like most boot sector viruses, invoke upon powering on a system and affect other disks that were accessible while loaded in memory.
The Brain virus would ultimately impact those disks with data in the specific sector it was targeting, replacing that data with the “©Brain” message and marking those portions accordingly. It normally consumed three (3) to seven (7) kilobytes of data, which is not much by today’s standards, but significant in the late ’80s.
In those days there were no anti-virus (AV) or personal computer (PC) clean-up tools that would recognize and quarantine viruses. In fact, it was nearly a year later before students at Delaware University even reported noticing the Brain virus on their disks. By 1988, the Providence Journal reported that 100 machines were infected, and one reporter even claimed that months of work had been lost on a floppy disk that was infected.
Unlike many other viruses, the Brain virus’ extent of damage is merely the slowing of performance of floppy disks and infecting other floppies that come in contact with it. The Brain virus also causes system time-outs while looking for data in the prescribed sector. And though a few variations of it surfaced in the late ’80s and early ’90s, it wasn’t until later that it would gain capability of infecting the hard disk of a computer.
Variations of the Brain Virus