With the advent of the internet has come a history of computer viruses that have wrecked havoc on networks across the planet. Here is a top 5 of the worst offenders.
This virus struck in February of 2004. Even worse is that the public had to contend with a series of different versions of this virus over the space of a year. First was a virus program that forced thousands of high-jacked computers to participate in denial of service attacks. Second was a version of MyDoom that searched computers for e-mail addresses. These addresses were later used to slow down or crash several high profile search engines with millions of illegitimate search requests.
This virus attack began in January of 2003. Unfortunately, most computers at the time were not prepared. This web server based virus managed to produce an astounding one billion dollars in damage over its lifespan. Some of its high profile victims included The Bank of America’s ATM machines, the city of Seattle’s 911 service, and Continental Airline’s electronic check-in and ticketing systems.
Owners of Macs and other Apple products are almost arrogant in their belief that their products can and will not be attacked by viruses. Unfortunately, sometimes virus programmers do choose to target Apple products. This was certainly the case with the Mac virus known as Leap-A. This program used a Mac based instant messaging program known as iChat to wreak havoc on hundreds of thousands of computers with a virus hidden in what appeared to be a simple JPEG image.
2. The Sasser Worm
This virus was designed to take advantage of certain vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows. However, unlike many similar worm programs, it did not use e-mail to spread itself. Instead, once the virus was downloaded onto a computer, it would use all network connections to find other computers to spread itself to.
This virus was especially aggravating due to how it would highjack a person’s computer. This highjack would make normal browsing of the internet, regular computer shut downs, and much of the normal operation of Windows nearly impossible.
1. The Storm Worm
This virus was unleashed on computer systems in late 2006. It went under a number of different names. However, the one that stuck in the media was the Storm Worm thanks to spam e-mails carrying the virus that referred to a storm battering Europe.
This virus worked as a Trojan horse. Its main goal was to allow another program access to the computers it infected. These Trojan horse programs were sent through thousands upon thousands of e-mails that would mirror current events such as the 2008 Olympics. The ultimate goal of many versions of this virus was to create zombie computers that would be taken over and then directed by the original programmer of the virus. This was often the means the virus used to send massive amounts of e-mail across the internet to spread itself.
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