Top 10 the most dangerous viruses of all time
Computer viruses are really similar to real-life ones. It can infect thousands of PC for just one hour, so we really can call it an epidemic. Agree, it is really interesting to look on how each virus works and how antivirus programs become a necessity for everyone, who has an electronic device. So, we have made a list of top 10 the most dangerous viruses in the history.
This virus was created by a student from Taiwan, whose initials were CIH. It had spread across the network on 26th April – the date of the Chernobyl accident, so a lot of users call it simply – Chernobyl. This virus is a dangerous one because it not just overwrites data on the host PC’s hard drive and making it unworkable, it was also capable of overwriting the BIOS of the host – after this PC can’t boot-up. For the time being CHI or Chernobyl had infected nearly half a million PC around the world.
Morris worm (1998)
The first worm virus of all. It had gained a huge attention via press and the creator was the first convicted in the USA under Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. November 1988 was remembered as the month when one virus paralyzed the work of the entire Internet, which resulted in direct and indirect losses totaling $ 96 million. It had crashed a lot of PCs because of a little mistake in code – it was installing on one PC unlimited number of times, that leads to the total death of the system.
On Friday, March 26, 1999, appeared a new problem – Melissa. It’s an email type of virus. You receive an e-mail, that contained just one sentence, “Here is that document you asked for…don’t show anyone else. ;-),” with an attached Word document. In nowadays we understand that it is a virus, but in the distant 1999, it was something new. Those who opened DOC file ( there were thousands who did so) allowed the virus to infect their system and send this email to all your contacts from your name. Even more, this virus modified users’ Word documents with quotes from the TV show “The Simpsons. The cybercriminal was cached and sentenced to twenty months’ imprisonment.
The most romantic one on our list of dangerous viruses is ILOVEYOU virus. Maybe because of its lovely name or insidious strategy it has infected 45 million of users for two days! For CHI virus it took about two years. So how it worked? A person receives an email with a file called “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU” with vbs extension (it is Visual Basics script). When it entered into the system it would replace all your files, images, music and then it spread itself to all contact, that you had. The damage was enormous – no one expected such type of virus. And do you now what? The creator was found but wasn’t charged for this crime, because the Philippines had no laws against cyber criminals at that time.
Code Red (2001)
July 13, 2001 – the day when another virus infected the Web. On this time it didn’t need you to install a malicious file or even open the email. Code Red or Bady virus just needed an Internet connection with which it changes the Web page that you opened by displaying a text “Hacked by Chinese!”. It was spreading very quickly and it took less than a week to infect almost 400 000 servers, it’s nearly one million damaged computers.
My Doom appeared in the malware world on 26th January 2004. Not for days, but for hours it infected nearly 2 million PCs! So how it worked? It came as an attachment an e-mail with an error message containing the text “Mail Transaction Failed.” When you click on the attachment it duplicates this e-mail to all addresses found in your address books. To stop this invasion was really difficult because the virus blocked access to the sites of anti-virus software developers, as well as Microsoft update services.
This virus impressed the world because it had shut down the satellite communications for French news agencies and even led to the cancellation of several Delta airline flights. Impressive, isn’t it? Instead of email, this virus used a security flaw in non-updated Windows 2000 and Windows XP systems to break into the system. Once the virus infected a computer, it looked for other vulnerable systems. Infected systems were experiencing repeated crashes and instability. The interesting thing is that this virus was written by a student, who released the virus on his 18th birthday. He was a really lucky one because he wrote the code when he was a minor, so he get just a suspended sentence.
In the beginning of 2004 new virus appeared – Bagle worm. It has a classic method of infection – with emails. Why we put it in the list? Because this virus is the first one who was created to get profit by receiving an access to financial, personal and other information. Since then appeared malware-for-profit movement and now it is the huge problem for a lot of users and antivirus companies.
Worm Win32 Conficker or just Conficker it is a very insidious virus, written specifically for the attacking the Microsoft Windows system. Using OS vulnerabilities, “Conficker” become unnoticed for antivirus programs and even worse – it blocked access to updates of their databases and updates for the OS. The names of all services were substituted, and the virus was registering in different corners of the system, so it was almost impossible to find and destroy all its fragments. There were more than 12 million infected computers in the world and it gave a great lesson to antivirus programs and OS to do a better security.
The last, but definitely not least the worm called Stuxnet. It was indicated on 2010 and you probably already heard about it. It targets industrial control systems that are used to monitor and control large-scale industrial facilities, including power plants, dams, waste processing systems and chemical and nuclear operations. It allows the hackers to take control of every important system without noticing. This is the first ever attack that allows cybercriminals to manipulate real-world equipment and bring a huge damage to world security. Iran has experienced the influence of Stuxnet the most (nearly 60 percent of all damage).
So, as we can see it took less than 20 years to develop a virus from a usual spam email to a real huge threat to the world. What will be next? Will antivirus programs be capable of protecting you in future? And what about world peace? There a lot of questions and there are no definite answer on that. Leave a comment below, what do you think waits for us in the future of viral progress?