Computer viruses are harmful programs created by anti-social elements (hackers) which can self duplicate itself in the computer system to harm its smooth functioning. These viruses are not only a big cause of worry for casual computer users but they have also created problems for governments, hospitals, schools and huge organizations by infecting their systems. Computer viruses spread faster than a cold virus thanks to the Internet which connects almost every computer in the world through its amazing technology. Almost every computer virus is capable enough for major destruction, here are some of those that have made history.
Most Damaging Computer Viruses
Computer viruses have caused damage worth billions of dollars, some have wiped out top secret documents from hard disks which could never be recovered again and most of them have affected the market by shutting down businesses for hours. Computer viruses are nothing but an online threat distributed through the Internet by hackers who like creating havoc in today's corporate world. Here are the names which have become immortal in the world of computers due to the amount of destruction caused by them.
This virus came to the fore in the year 2006 and the public began speculating about it when it was sent to millions of computers in the form of an email saying, '230 dead as storm batters Europe'. Different companies called this virus by different names. Basically Storm Worm is a Trojan horse program which makes computers into zombies or bots. As the machines become infected, they can be controlled by the person who actually sent this worm. This virus is widespread, it is not very difficult to detect. Updating the computer anti-virus system is probably the best way to keep Storm Worm away.
ILOVEYOU aka Love Letter Virus
The ILOVEYOU virus is still known as the most dangerous virus ever written by a hacker. It is still regarded the most deadliest computer virus of all time which caused companies a loss of more than $10 billion. The virus expanded by spreading itself through email. Once the user opened the email, the virus attached itself to the memory and infected all important files and folders. Once in the computer the virus tries to reach other users by scanning all the addresses in the Microsoft Outlook List of the current user. The virus was originally written by a Filipino programmer who was still pursuing his college education at that time. This virus spread through the entire world in just 24 hours and affected system of multinational companies and the Pentagon resulting in loses worth billions of dollars.
Leap-A gathered a lot of press attention because it is one of those few viruses which have been successful in corrupting MAC systems. Yes, Apple is known to make software and hardware systems which are resistant to viruses, the company protects their systems by sending regular updates to their users. MAC computers are protected from virus attacks with the help of a concept called Security through Obscurity. However, due to the recent popularity of MAC system, in 2006 a hacker created the Leap-A virus which uses the iChat messaging system to travel through various vulnerable MAC computers.
Another destructive virus which made worldwide headlines, Melissa virus was a type of mass-mailing malware which affected more than 20% of computers worldwide. Computers who worked on Microsoft, Intel were the worst sufferers and companies who used Microsoft Outlook for their emails also incurred heavy losses. The Melissa virus traveled through email with an MS Word attachment and when users opened it, the virus immediately mailed itself to the first 50 people in the Outlook list.
CIH aka Chernobyl Virus
Not only the name but the virus itself was so destructive that its release made international headlines all around the world. CIH was the most dreaded computer virus because it had the ability to remain undetected in a computer's memory for a very long time. Once in the system, it used to hamper every program that was run. The virus first debuted in 1998 and affected various Windows systems of 95 and 98. This virus was also equipped with a trigger date and once the date was reached , the virus overwrote the files on the hard drive and destroyed it original contents.
Code Red was a computer worm which debuted in the world of computers in the year 2001. It specifically attacked computers running the Microsoft's IIS web server. It suppressed the Windows system by acting as a buffer overflow and sent huge amounts of data to the computer so that it is forced to shut down.
Even though technology today is highly advanced and secure, systems and networks keep getting infected again and again. This is because people don't spend enough money on a good anti-virus software and most of them are too lazy to update their anti-virus software after regular intervals.