Ever since the potential growth of Personal Computers and Commercial ones, there have been plenty of computer viruses. Some viruses were created for fun purposes whereas some were serious in terms of actions. In case if you did not know, the computing world had seen viruses that could have turned the digital world upside down.
From basic annoyance to an impressive tool of cyberwarfare, viruses were created by individuals, organizations and even nations. Out of these, there are a bunch of computer viruses that will always be remembered. It’s time to have a look on some of those serious ones. In this article, we will tell you about the 7 most destructive computer viruses ever developed in the world. We will tell you about the viruses, developers and the losses caused by the same.
ILOVEYOU is one of the most popular computer viruses, also noted in the history of computer viruses. It was developed by a duo of Filipino programmers — namely Onel de Guzman and Reonel Ramones. This virus was one of the deadliest for many reasons. First of all, 10% of all the internet-connected devices were infected by ILOVEYOU virus. Secondly, it caused a loss of around $10 Billion in total. ILOVEYOU was based on the social engineering techniques and a love confession was used as the bait. People used to click on the attachment and the ILOVEYOU virus would infect the computer in no time. It’s after these truly destructive outcomes that governments started to come up with standard E-Commerce laws.
Created in 1999 by David L Smith, Melissa was another computer virus that caused a lot of money and resourcing power to individuals and organizations alike. Melissa was based on a Word document that was hosted on a usenet group. It was actually disguised as a link to pornographic websites, and people were excited to download this file. However, upon the opening, Melissa would start the payload and start sending emails to the frequently contacted 50 contacts in the infected PC. The working process of Melissa was simple but the impacts were not. Due to the higher number of emails sent every day, several services were destroyed, including the Government ones. The total damages were worth $80 Million.
Zeus was one of the most dangerous Trojan Horse malware ever identified in Windows PCs. It was meant to create one backdoor that was used to perform many of criminal tasks around. The major purpose of the Trojan was to steal data from forms and to work as a key logger. A lot of data was compromised by the activities of the Zeus Trojan, including thousands of FTP accounts, bank details. In the same way, Zeus used to grab credentials of social networking websites, banking and email accounts etc. With more than 1 Million PCs being infected by the activities, Zeus had caused a total loss of millions. According to a source, the controller of Zeus retired in 2010.
All the above mentioned viruses were created by individuals and used against individuals or organizations. However, the case of Stuxnet is something different. It was a part of the cyberwarfare, created by the association between the Defence Force of Israel and American Government. According to the estimates, the virus was able to infect 1/5th of Iran’s computers as a part of the cyber war. The virus had aimed at the control possession of PLCs, which allowed the code to automate the whole process of the computer. Depending on the presence of Siemens software, the virus would leave the computer or tear it apart. Needless to say, Stuxnet followed a fool proof working method too.
A Windows worm that was spread using email messages, Mydoom had caused enough troubles in the computing field as it started from 2004. This worm was disguised as an error in email transmission. However, in the meantime, it would be able to open the attachment and execute the program. Once a computer was infected, different methods were used for spreading. First, emails would be sent to the people in address book. Second, the same was spread through networks as well. In short, the Mydoom worm was able to bring a cumulative damage of $38.5 billion, which is quite huge. It is to be noted that the same worm can be seen today, in other forms.
CryptoLocker, if you would guess from the name, is a ransomware that was spread in Windows-based computers. As you can guess, it was meant to encrypt computer data and demand money for accessing the data again. The ransom was kept around $400 and was to be increased if you had not paid on time. According to the data from raids made, more than 500000 devices were encrypted by CryptoLocker and some had even paid the ransom to get back the data. Despite the fact that only 1.3% of total infected users paid the ransom, the total amount was brought up to $3 million. Wasn’t that huge enough for the destructive ransomware virus?
So, these are the 7 of the most destructive and spread computer viruses ever developed for Windows and Mac. As you can see, only one in the list is targeted towards Macintosh, while others are against Windows. Even today, we can say that Windows PCs are more vulnerable to threats. So, you should better choose some methods to protect you against viruses and other types of malware.