Fred Cohen: The Godfather of Computer Viruses [ML B-Side]

Malicious Life

19-12-2022 • 29 mins

In his 1984 seminal paper - "Computer Viruses: Theory and Experiments" - Dr. Fred Cohen not only introduced the name ‘computer virus’, a term invented by his mentor, Leonard Adelman, but was also the first to analyze computer viruses in a rigorous mathematical way, proving that computer viruses were not only practical - but that they were in fact inevitable. Nate Nelson, our Sr. producer, spoke with Dr. Cohen about his early research into computer viruses, his work with the US army, the panicky response from the US government - and the parallels between computer viruses and mental viruses - i.e. memes.