There’s always somewhere in the world suffering through a new flu season, so why not give you the rundown of the four viruses that have dealt the most damage. No, not to your health, but rather your computer. Much like the flu virus, a computer virus can replicate itself and can possibly travel from one system to another, with the digital equivalent having the ability to corrupt or destroy data on your device. Here are the worst viruses of all time…
Which of you guys out there wouldn’t open a love message sent all the way from the pleasant Philippines? Most people would! The two Filipino programmers who created this virus in May 2000 counted on just that. ILOVEYOU has generated perhaps the most damage to PCs from all around the world, estimated at around $10 billion.
It is believed that a staggering 10% of all computers connected to the internet were infected by it. The virus came in the form of an email attachment that supposedly contained a love confession. After it was clicked, however, it would send itself to every email address in the user’s email contacts, after which it started to overwrite files and caused the computer to become unbootable.
2. Anna Kournikova
From Holland, with love. This virus pretended to contain a picture of the famous Russian tennis player and was believed to be released by a Dutch programmer on February 11 2001. In truth, it actually tricked the recipient into opening the message, only to inflict malicious software. Without going into too much technical detail, Anna Kournikova (the virus) is believed to have affected millions of users and generated issues for email servers around the globe. Its creator, who declared that he was not aware of the damage it would cause, was sentenced to 150 hours of community service and a fine.
Aren’t we all tempted at some point to bite the apple? Well, here comes Melissa, the virus named after an exotic dancer. Created in 1999 by an American guy at a time when Microsoft Windows was at its peak; it was the first virus that was activated through the email, arriving in the form of a message from a friend, co-worker, or a family member.
When opened, this message had the ability to resend itself to another 50 email addresses from the user’s Outlook contact list. This caused a great increase in email traffic, which was too much for the corporate networks that were underdeveloped at that time, with a lot of them being forced to temporarily cease activity. It was estimated that it caused $1.2 billion in losses and damages.
4. Storm Worm
Finally, some creativity from the public, who named this virus based on the subject of it, which claimed “230 dead as storm batters Europe”. Released in January 2017, it is believed to be the creation of the Russian Business Network, a cyber crime organization. As Trojan horse software, is was able to transform PCs into zombies and, once they were infected, could be controlled by the individuals that generated the attack. This virus is believed to have been responsible for 8% of all malware infections worldwide.
Have you been affected by these vicious viruses? Or do you remember others that are equally as destructive? Let us know in a comment in the form below.
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