Creeper (program)

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Creeper Worm
Aliases The First Computer Virus[citation needed]
Type Jamming Software, Worm[1]
Isolation 1971
Author(s) Bob Thomas
Operating system(s) affected TENEX

Creeper was an experimental self-replicating program written by Bob Thomas at BBN[2] in 1971. It was designed not to damage but only to display a message.[3] It is generally accepted to be the first computer worm.[1][3] Creeper infected DEC PDP-10 computers running the TENEX operating system. The Reaper program was created by Ray Tomlinson[4] to delete the Creeper program.


Initial release 1972
Development status Historic
Operating system TENEX

The Reaper program was a computer worm, like Creeper, but its purpose was to delete the latter. This fact was an inspiration for Core War, the series Hyperion by Dan Simmons, especially later books Endymion and The Rise of Endymion and for the D-Reaper, the final enemy of Digimon Tamers.


  1. ^ a b IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Volumes 27-28. IEEE Computer Society, 2005. 74. Retrieved from Google Books on 13 May 2011. "[...]from one machine to another led to experimentation with the Creeper program, which became the world's first computer worm: a computation that used the network to recreate itself on another node, and spread from node to node."
  2. ^ Thomas Chen, Jean-Marc Robert (2004). "The Evolution of Viruses and Worms". Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  3. ^ a b From the first email to the first YouTube video: a definitive internet history. Tom Meltzer and Sarah Phillips. The Guardian. 23 October 2009
  4. ^ John Metcalf (2014). "Core War: Creeper & Reaper". Retrieved 2014-05-01.