The Deadliest Computer Viruses Of All Time

Ransomware attacks, in which someone steals personal data and demands payment to recover it, are perhaps even more terrifying

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Viruses such as worms, adware, Trojans, and rootkits are also difficult to spot and can allow attackers control over your computer. Pixabay

BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY

All of us have seen a machine behave strangely at any stage in our lives. There are many dangers out there, many of them take the form of viruses. Over 350,000 new pieces of ransomware are found every day, costing over $55 billion annually. Computer viruses get their name from the fact that they reproduce and behave like viruses. They infect lots of files on a machine and can be spread to another machine by sending files to someone else or using infected USB drives on another system.

Viruses such as worms, adware, Trojans, and rootkits are also difficult to spot and can allow attackers control over your computer. Ransomware attacks, in which someone steals personal data and demands payment to recover it, are perhaps even more terrifying. The following is a list of the most serious cyber threats perpetrated by the world’s most deadly viruses.

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MyDoom

One of the most widely spreading viruses of all time, my Doom, corrupted one out of every 12 emails at its height. Mydoom, the largest computer virus epidemic in history, caused an estimated $38 billion in damage in 2004. This malware, also known as Novarg, is a “worm” that spreads by mass emailing. Mydoom scraped corrupted computers’ emails and forwarded backups of itself to those addresses. It also enlisted compromised computers in a botnet, a network of computers used to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Despite a $250,000 reward, the creator of this deadly programming worm was never caught.

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Mydoom scraped corrupted computers’ emails and forwarded backups of itself to those addresses. Pixabay

Sobig

The SoBig virus, which was initially known as Palyh but was later changed to Sobig, caused more than $37.1 billion in damage in 2003.  This quickly spreading malware was distributed via email as viral spam. This cybercriminal program was attached to emails as official computer applications. It messed up Air Canada’s ticketing system and a number of other companies. It was also a Trojan horse that repeated itself. However, this worm was deactivated after one month for some reason.

Sasser

Sven Jaschan, a 17-year-old German computer science major, created the Sasser worm. By searching random IP addresses and instructing them to download the virus, Sasser distributed through infected machines. The virus’s symptoms were pervasive because, despite the fact that the vulnerability had already been patched, several machines had not been upgraded. More than a million systems were infected, and vital infrastructures such as flights, news agencies, mass transportation, hospitals, and public services were all affected. When several tip-offs were reported to the police, Jaschan was arrested. According to rumors, Jaschan wrote the viruses to generate revenue for his mother and stepfather’s PC business.

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Sven Jaschan, a 17-year-old German computer science major, created the Sasser worm. Pixabay

ILOVEYOU

ILOVEYOU is regarded as one of the most dangerous computer viruses ever devised. It was able to wreak havoc on computer networks all over the world, causing about $10 billion in losses. The virus was sent in an email with the subject line “I love you.” People, being curious, eagerly tapped through the text, despite the fact that it wasn’t from someone they met. The ransomware was a virus that was downloaded by opening an attachment named ‘LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs. ILOVEYOU was so successful that it was named the most “virulent” virus of all time by Guinness World Records.

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The virus was sent in an email with the subject line “I love you.” Pixabay

WannaCry

During four stressful days in 2017, the WannaCry ransomware caused chaos in about 150 countries around the world. The malware spread like flames through 200,000 computers all over the world. It came to an end when a 22-year-old security researcher in the United Kingdom discovered a way to disable it. Computers running out-of-date operating systems were particularly vulnerable. Surprisingly, its developers requested a minuscule $300 ransom from the United Kingdom’s National Health Service to decrypt the computers; it’s a tiny price to pay with an attack that cost almost $4 billion in gross financial damages.

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Cryptolocker

One of the first ransomware attacks was Cryptolocker. CryptoLocker is a form of Trojan horse ransomware that targets Windows computers. By encrypting files, this malware infected over 250,000 computers. A red ransom note appeared on the screen, warning users that “your critical files encryption was created on this computer.” The note was followed by a payment slot. The extortion operation was eventually stopped, but not until $27 million was billed.