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Creeper virus is a computer virus that is most commonly recognized as the first computer virus. In 1971, Bob Thomas at BBN created Creeper as an experimental self-duplicating program that was intended not to inflict damage on, but to illustrate a mobile application. Creeper corrupted DEC PDP-10 computers operating on the TENEX operating system by messing around the installed printers, displaying the message “I’m the creeper, catch me if you can!”
The Creeper virus located a computer on the network, transferred itself to the computer, started to print a file (and stopped), displayed a message on the screen and then started over again. One significant difference between Creeper and other major viruses was that the Creeper erased its older versions as it duplicated itself.
While it is now widely credited as being the first computer virus, the concept of a computer virus did not yet exist at the time of its creation in the 1970s.