Most Destructive Computer Viruses of All Time

Getting a computer virus has happened to many users. To most, simply needs cleaning up the disk and installing some good antivirus program. But in some cases, it can be more disasters. There were some viruses that said to be more disasters and notorious. Catching this virus using your antivirus application is just a dream.  Since people usually equate general malware like worms and trojan horses as viruses, we’re including them as well. This malware has caused tremendous harm, amounting to billions of dollars and disrupting real life infrastructure.

Here are some most famous and destructive viruses:

CODE RED (Year: 2001)
Server Affected: 1-2 Million (Total out of 6 million users list)

Code Red which surfaced on the Internet in the year 2001 by eEye Digital Security employees. The worm targeted computers with Microsoft IIS Web server installed, exploiting buffer overflow problem in the system. It will then launch a denial of service attack on several IP address. Now there exists some new version of Code Red worms which said to be more destructive than the initial version. Once infected, it will create hundred of copies of itself but due to a bug in the programming.

 

Melissa (Year: 1999)
Organizations Affected: 300+
Individual Affected: 1 Million+

Melissa
was a macro virus that was distributed as an email attachment, once opened disables a number of safeguard in Mircosoft Word 97, or Windows 2000 and if Outlook is configured it resent the email to top 50 people in each user’s address book. On March 1999, Mircosoft Corporation was forced to shut down incoming e-mail due to Melissa. Intel and other giants were also affected by this notorious virus.

 

Sasser (Year: 2004)
Infrastructure Affected: Airlines, NEWS Agencies, Public transportation etc.
Individual Affected: 1 Million+
Cost of Damage: $18 Billion

Sasser which was a Windows worm discovered in 2004, was created by a computer science student Sven Jaschan, who had earlier created a Netsky worm. Affected computer slows down and crashes the computer while making it hard reset without cutting the power. This worm took advantage of buffer overflow vulnerability which controls the security policy of local accounts causing crashes to the computer.

 

MyDoom (Year: 2004)
Cost of Damage: $38.5 Billion

MyDoom which was also a computer worm surfaces in 2004 which also fastest spreading email worm. This author of this worm is still unknown but said to be the author was paid to do so, since it contains the message saying “I’m just doing my job, nothing personal, sorry”. The worm spreads itself by appearing as an email transmission error and contains an attachment of itself. Once executed, it will send itself to email addresses that are in a user’s address book and copies itself to any P2P program’s folder to propagate itself through that network. It was believed that the worm was created to disrupt SCO due to conflict over ownership of some Linux code.

 

Conficker Virus (Year: 2009)
Individual Affected: 10 Million+

Conficker
virus that crawled in the technical world in 2009 (also called as ‘Super Worm’ ) and affected millions of Windows-based PCs, which created a massive remote based botnet army which was having a capability of stealing financial and other important information. Its complexity made it difficult to stop, and the virus prompted the creation of a coalition of experts dedicated to stopping its spread. At its height, the Conficker worm infected millions of computers, leading anti-virus researchers to call it the “super bug,” or “super worm.” But the real mystery of Conficker, which still infects a large number of computers, is that no one knows what it was meant to do: the botnet army was never used for any specific purpose, to the best of anyone’s knowledge. Conficker’s real purpose still confounds security experts.

Credits: Hongkiat.com

Post Author: Aavishkar Mane

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