Before Siri and Alexa, there was Bonzi. In the early 2000s, a purple, talking gorilla named BonziBuddy was billed as a free virtual assistant, ready for all your internet needs. It could talk, search for you, sing, send emails — and anyone with a computer could download it for free.
Turns out, that was the big problem. Bonzi wasn’t your friend; it was malware. In the third episode of Kernel Panic, we explore the rise and fall of one of the friendliest-looking pieces of malware of all time. It’s the story of how one seemingly harmless ape preyed on early internet users and then paid the price, teaching all of us how much we had to lose from so-called “free” downloads… read more >