With the arrival of “heartbleed,” one can’t help but ponder on the previous viruses that has caused rampage within the online community. Today, we list down 5 of the worst computer viruses of all time.
Traditional Computer Viruses
Back in the 80’s, spread of computer viruses greatly depends on human aid.
What do you mean by this?
This requires persons referred as hackers to distribute disks with these “viruses” into the computer. The incautious individual will then unknowingly place the disk into his PC and before he realizes it, he has been infected. Today, infected disks are not a requirement. Viruses have become so intelligent, even the wisest of online experts can be hit by it.
Named after an exotic dancer in Florida, the Melissa Virus is the first email virus to cause disruption in government and private industries in the US.
Effect: Once opened, it replicates its message to 50 recipients inside your inbox.
Damage: Not much, but it is the first virus to gain public attention.
I Love You Virus
Who would forget about this virus? None! especially if you are a Filipino. Just like Melissa, it started infecting files through emails. Disguised as a love letter from a secret admirer rather than love and inspiration, it lead to:
- Dozens of I Love You File within your hard drive
- Additional files within your registry keys
- Original files replaced with I LOVE YOU
- Steals password and forwards it into the hacker’s email address
Damage: Approximately $10 billion
Code Red Virus
This is the perfect computer virus name for a virus that heavily exploited operating systems, such as Windows 2000 and Windows NT. Once it has entered your system, you will lose control over your files.
Remedy: Perform a back-up file before completely reformatting your hard drive. Otherwise, be prepared to deal with conflicting entries and very angry shareholders, customers, and business partners.
This virus has definitely lead to a devastating loss to many industries including:
- Bank of America
- Seattle City 911
- Continental Airlines
Effect: Once it penetrates a system, it replicates itself every few seconds and within 15 minutes it can cripple half of the servers of big industries.
Damage: $1 Billion
This heralded the debut of virus attack affecting even the impenetrable Mac. Yes! Oompa did it and has passed the infection through iChat.
Damage: Not much, but it only proved that Mac is not invincible to viruses.
How Do I Prevent Myself from Being a Victim of Computer Viruses
From these list of viruses, one could easily see that to best protect yourself from such attacks you should:
- Avoid opening emails sent by anonymous sender
- Using unsecured online chat systems
- Have a reliable anti virus software
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