Innocent devices sometimes fall victim of some of the most dangerous computer viruses. These computer viruses are capable of disrupting a computer’s system and wiping out all information contained on the hard disk. Computer viruses have affected different computer users in different ways one of them being wiping out all information from the hard disk hence leading to loss of information. If you have never had your computer suffer from a malware attack, then consider yourself very lucky because different computer users have encountered malware attacks in different fashions and styles.
In this article, we are about to discuss some of the most famous and dangerous computer viruses of all time. Some of the viruses as we shall see led to serious damages in real life. Here is a list of some of the top 5 computer viruses of all time.
Considering the damages this computer virus caused after being released by its creator, we can comfortably state that it is one of the most destructive and dangerous computer virus ever. When ILOVEYOU got released, it is believed that it affected over 10% of computers that were connected to the internet worldwide. It even forced big corporations and some governments to start using offline mailing systems to avoid being attacked. The damages that this virus managed to cause worldwide is estimated at $10 billion.
The creators of this malware, Reonel Ramones, and Onel de Guzman used a very simple strategy to spread the virus by luring computer users to click on ‘a love confession’ attachment. The virus was designed in such a way that once a user clicked on the attachment, the virus automatically sent itself to everyone on the mailing list of the user. What it did after that was overwriting itself to files and rendering every affected computer unbootable.
The creators of this malware were not brought to book because, by the time this computer malware was damaging computers worldwide, there were no malware laws. This then led governments to come up with laws that could be used to prosecute creators of such viruses.
- CODE RED
This virus started damaging computers in 2001 when its creators decided to take advantage of a flaw in Microsoft Internet Information Servers. This virus was discovered for the first time by two employees at Eye Digital Security. The name Code Red was given to the virus because by the time the two discovered the virus, they were having a Code Red Mountain Dew drink. The creators of this malware targeted computers that had Microsoft IIS server. This malware could not be traced easily as it leaves no signs and can survive on the memory at a very small size of 3,569 bytes. Immediately it infects a computer, it then goes on to multiply itself several times to an extent where it clears everything in the entire computer system including computers that are on the same network.
After affecting computers that are in a network, it then leads to a denial of service attack on different IP addresses. One of Code Red’s victims was White House as this virus affected its website. After affecting servers and different computers, it left a message ‘Hacked by Chinese’. An estimate of losses caused by this malware stood at $2 billion worldwide. The number of servers that got affected by this malware stood at between 1-2 million servers around the world.
This malware was created by David L. Smith in 1999. It got the name ‘Melissa’ a stripper based in Florida. It started its damage in form of a word Doc which was posted online and the people behind it claimed that it had pornographic sites’ passwords. People became curious about the word Doc and once it opens after downloading it, it automatically sends itself to about 50 people.
What resulted was a serious traffic on email services including those belonging to different governments. Documents on computers with this virus were also not spared because they got corrupted. Smith was later arrested and gave information to about other hackers like him to FBI. Melissa led to about $80 million damages in different corporations and governments around the world.
The main victim of this malware was Windows Operating System. It started in 2004 and affected different corporations around the world. Unlike other viruses like Melissa and Code Red, it never spread through email services. It spread by looking for systems that were vulnerable after it affected a computer and gave instructions to those systems to initiate the download of the malware.
This virus succeeded because it used a simple strategy of finding possible victims by scanning different IP addresses. To make matters worse for the victims, it went to an extent of corrupting the Operating Systems by complicating resetting without switching off the power. Some of the institutions that got affected by this malware included transport industry, hospitals, media, airlines and many companies.
- MY DOOM
This virus is also one of the most dangerous viruses ever. What else would you expect with this type of name if not doom? It is in the same class as ILOVEYOU virus considering the level of damages it caused around the world. It is one of the fastest-spreading email malware ever after ILOVEYOU. Some the big corporations this malware managed to hit include Google, SCO, and Microsoft. What it did was a denial of service attack.
This virus was released to SCO servers with an aim of crashing their website by causing traffic. This malware also sent spam messages from computers it infected. The message it sent to people in form of spam was ‘andy; I’m just doing my job, nothing personal, sorry.’ In 2004 alone, this malware managed to attack about 25% of all emails around the world. The damages caused by this malware was estimated at $38 billion.
These are the top five most famous and dangerous computer viruses ever. These viruses attacked different corporations and governments bringing their services to a halt and leading to a crash of some websites.