Like viruses that threaten human health, the viruses and assorted malware encountered in the PC world are not exactly visible to the naked eye.

Sure, there’s the ‘physical’ presence of an unsolicited email in your inbox offering sleazy services in badly written English. Or there’s the insidious cargo of a viewable attachment that, once opened, can wreak havoc behind the scenes of a Windows PC… but what do these malignant computer viruses look like?

As if the threats of unseen malware was not enough, MessageLabs has now given graphical, eye-catching form to the threats. Or rather, it has commissioned graphic artist Alex Dragulescu to do just that, rendering various worm, trojan, and virus code into colourful images that resemble the sub-microscopic nuclei of real genetic viruses.

messagelabs mydoom

Dragelescu has previously experimented in music and text visualisation, using his own algorithms to create rich, three-dimensional rendered images. To represent the malware samples, MessageLabs provided him with inactive assembly code versions of notorious malware threats and spam messages. The results speak for themselves, menacing monsters that look every part the agents of trouble and mayhem….

See more of Alex Dragelescu's artwork for MessageLabs...