The internet is the prowling ground for a host of malware that can potentially wreak havoc on computer systems. We will take a look at some of the most dangerous viruses of recent times, let you know their key attributes, and let you know the amount of damage that they caused.
The ILOVEYOU virus wreaked havoc on computer systems worldwide simply by disguising itself as a love note. The virus was spread by email and come equipped with a love confession to tempt recipients into opening an attachment file. Once opened, the virus proceeded to email itself to the first 50 contacts in the victim’s address book.
The ILOVEYOU virus was believed to have been created by Reonel Ramones and Onel de Guzman: two programmers from the Philippines. They were never officially charged due to a lack of anti-malware laws at the time.
The ILOVEYOU virus begun its spread on the 5th of May 2000. It caused an estimated $10 billion in damages and was believed to have infected around 10% of the world’s computers connected to the internet.
2. My Doom
My Doom originated on January 2004 and quickly spread worldwide. The virus spread by email and identified itself as an email transmission error. As soon as the message was clicked on, an attachment proceeded to spread the infection to addresses in the recipient’s address book.
It is believed that at its peak the virus was spreading so rapidly that is was responsible for around 10% of EVERY email being sent. This had the effect of crashing the email systems of major companies and government departments.
The virus is thought to have caused an estimated $38 billion in damages.
3. Code Red
The Code Red virus did not require the opening of an email. It simply spread via internet connection between computers that had the Microsoft IIS web server installed.
The comical feature of the virus was that it would prevent access to certain websites by displaying the text “Hacked by Chinese.” The virus crashed approximately 400,000 servers including that of the White House. It infected approximately one million computers and caused close to $3 billion in damages.
The Regin Virus is a sophisticated Trojan that is believed to be developed to spy on international targets. The program infects computers worldwide, with the biggest concentrations being in Russia and Saudi Arabia.
This software is believed to be created by a government agency due to its intelligence-gathering capabilities. Regin is believed to be able to gain full control of an infected computer to control the mouse, take screenshots, access deleted files and complete other actions. This precision makes the software extremely dangerous if used maliciously.
These are just some of the powerful viruses that have threatened or continue to threaten computer systems. Every day more potential threats are being developed and navigating through cyberspace. To stay safe, you should always educate yourself about the latest threats and assure that your anti-virus and firewall software is up to date. Additionally, make sure you are always cautious when opening emails.