internet wormHave you ever wondered how a virus gets its name? Generally speaking the individual responsible for the discovery of the malicious program gets the honor of naming it. In theory the name is supposed to be related to the virus and what its intent is, however it is obvious by the bizarre names of many viruses out there that this theory is not always held to. Some viruses gain their names from messages within the code. Some times the namers of viruses must seek inspiration. Apparently the lunch virus was named after the analyst who discovered it had just eaten lunch.

The nimda virus is simply admin backwards. Often analysts will pull a reference from virus code in order to come up with a name. Both Yaha and SirCam were named for specific references found within the viruses code.

Some of my favorite virus names are:

Michaelangelo, which was expected to create a digital apocalypse on March 6, with millions of computers having their information wiped according to mass media hysteria surrounding the virus. Later assessments of the damage showed the aftermath to be minimal.

Conficker (aka: downadup), a worm that has caused one of the largest worm infections ever affecting over 7 million government, business and home computers.

Concept, the first macro virus.

Optix Pro, a trojan that allows a hacker remote access to a PC.

What virus names intrigue you?