8 Most Famous Internet Viruses

8 Most Famous Internet Viruses
October 22 13:08 2018 Print This Article

The history of computer worms and malware began in 1983 when an American scientist Fred Cohen first introduced a term “computer virus”. He developed a software able to infect machines, make copies of itself, and move from one computer to another.

The first real virus, called “Brain”, was created later in 1986 and aimed at floppy disks. It was developed by two brothers from Pakistan who ran their own software company. Brain infected around 18 thousand computers solely in the USA. The purpose of the malware was to punish local pirates stealing the software of the company.

Since then, more and more viruses have been created. Some of them appeared to be really dangerous and infected thousands of machines. Today we are going to have a look at the most famous and malicious ones.

Morris worm (1988)

In 1988, a student Robert Morris decided to estimate the size of the Internet with the help of a network worm. But he didn’t take into consideration that the worm was able to attack one computer multiple times, slowing down the working speed of the system. The worm used system vulnerabilities and passwords hacking. 10% of all the computers connected to the Internet at that moment were infected. It was approximately six thousand devices. The malware went down in history as the Great Worm.

ILOVEYOU (2000)

This malware is considered to be the first large-scale computer virus. It infected millions of computers under Windows OS. The malware was distributed in the form of love letters that contained a malicious script. When a user opened an attached file with the script, the virus began to send itself throughout the Microsoft Outlook list of contacts. Moreover, it gained an access to the system registry. ILOVEYOU caused the money loss of $15 billions, and got into Guinness book as the most destructive сomputer virus.

Nimda (2001)

Nimba is a computer worm, which damages files and slows down the work of the system. Appeared on 18th of September 2001, in 22 minutes it had become the most widespread Internet virus. It was distributed through emails and open network resources, like common files and data files transfer, as well as malicious websites. The name of the worm comes from the word “admin” written backward. The authors of this malware remain unknown.

SQL Slammer (2003)

It is a network worm, which infected more than 75 thousand computers within just 10 minutes. SQL Slammer used a buffer overflow of Microsoft SQL Server and Desktop Engine. Though its size was only 376 bytes, the virus caused many hosts to fall down. Moreover, the Slammer crashed a nuclear plant network in Ohio, USA.

Sasser (2004)

Sasser epidemic began in April 2004. In several days, the worm had attacked around 250 thousand computers throughout the world. The malware caused no special harm, it only made machines reboot over and over again. The author of the malware appeared to be a teenager from Germany. Nevertheless, Sasser affected the work of avian companies, hospitals, delivery services, and many other social institutions, the boy got probation.

Mydoom (2004)

My doom, also known as Novarg, is an email worm for Microsoft Windows and Windows NT. It was widespread through mail boxes and file-sharing network Kazaa. The file with the malicious script is around 29 Kb and contains a text string “sync-1.01; andy; I’m just doing my job, nothing personal, sorry”. Infecting a computer, Mydoom modifies an operating system, blocks antivirus work and downloads additional malware from the Internet.

Wannacry (2017)

Wannacry is a super-modern, tricky and extremely deft computer malware. It encrypts most of the files stored on the hard drive, blocks the computer, and then displays a window with the ransom note. The worm infected around 500 thousand electronic devices in 150 countries all around the world. India, Ukraine, and Russia have suffered the most.

The authors of the virus presumably come from Russia. They have managed to receive 42 thousand dollars from their victims.

Petya (2017)

The virus extortionist Petya appeared in June 2017. It is similar to Wannacry, except that it encrypts not separate files, but the hard drive entirely. It has been widespread through emails. As soon as a user opens the attached file, the computer starts to reboot. After that, there is an imitation of hard disk checking followed by the red skull all over the displayed. In order to unlock the hard drive, a victim should transfer a certain amount of money in bitcoins.

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Asha Jane Brown
Asha Jane Brown

has more than 1-year experience in blogging and copywriting, copyediting and proofreading of web content.

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