Who invented the first anti-virus software, and when was it written?

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The invention of the first anti-virus software was a significant milestone in the field of computer security. This article aims to explore the origins of anti-virus software and shed light on who invented it and when it was written.

The Early Days of Computer Viruses

Before delving into the invention of anti-virus software, it is crucial to understand the context in which it emerged. The first computer viruses started appearing in the 1970s, with the Creeper virus being one of the earliest known examples. These early viruses were relatively simple and mainly spread through floppy disks.

The Birth of Anti-Virus Software

The credit for inventing the first anti-virus software goes to a computer scientist named Bernd Fix. In 1987, Fix developed a program called “Vienna” while working at the Vienna University of Technology in Austria. Vienna was designed to detect and remove a specific type of virus known as the “Vienna Virus,” which was spreading through the university’s computer system.

The Vienna Virus

The Vienna Virus, also known as the “Austrian Virus,” was one of the earliest file infectors. It attached itself to executable files and spread when those files were executed. The virus gained significant attention due to its ability to infect both DOS and Amiga operating systems, which were widely used at the time.

The Features of Vienna

Vienna, the first anti-virus software, had a relatively simple design compared to modern solutions. It scanned the computer’s memory and files, looking for specific patterns and signatures associated with the Vienna Virus. Once detected, the software would remove the infected files, effectively eliminating the virus from the system.

Impact and Evolution

The creation of Vienna marked a significant turning point in the battle against computer viruses. It demonstrated the possibility of developing software specifically designed to detect and remove malicious code. This breakthrough paved the way for the development of more advanced and sophisticated anti-virus solutions in the years to come.


In conclusion, the first anti-virus software, Vienna, was invented by Bernd Fix in 1987. It was developed to combat the Vienna Virus, one of the earliest file infectors. The invention of anti-virus software revolutionized the field of computer security and laid the foundation for the development of more advanced solutions that we rely on today.


– Vienna Virus: https://www.computerhope.com/jargon/v/viennavi.htm
– Bernd Fix: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernd-fix-4b6b0a1/
– The History of Computer Viruses: https://www.kaspersky.com/resource-center/threats/computer-viruses