A computer virus infection is as serious as it sounds. Trojans, worms, malware, the virus family is big, and each of them affects differently.
Computers have been vulnerable to malware and virus attacks since its advent. From home desktops to the White House internal server, viruses have not spared anyone. The world has stood witness to the dreadful virus attacks for the last two decades.
The first computer virus, called the “Elk Cloner,” was created as a teenager’s harmless prank, displaying random messages to users and played subtle tricks when the infected floppy disk was booted.
The sweet-named virus had terrified the world in 2000. It was detected in Philippines and soon captured 10% of the world's web-connected computers. The damage was worth over five billion dollars.
We usually say the phrase 'lost in love' but the loss this love bug gave to all was indeed tremendous. Known as one of the most disastrous viruses, ILOVEYOU caused a loss of around $10 billion in as many as 20 countries.
ILOVEYOU made its appearance as an email attachment “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.txt.vbs” along with the content "kindly check the attached LOVELETTER from me" in May 2000.
Named after an exotic dancer from Florida, it was created by David L. Smith in 1999. It started as an infected Word document that was posted up on the alt.sex usenet group, claiming to be a list of passwords for pornographic sites. This got people curious and when it was downloaded and opened, it would trigger the macro inside and unleash its payload. The virus will mail itself to the top 50 people in the user’s email address book and this caused an increase of email traffic, disrupting the email services of governments and corporations. It also sometimes corrupted documents by inserting a Simpsons reference into them.
My Doom hit the malware world in 2004 and spread exponentially through email with random addresses of senders and subject lines. Infecting somewhere around two million PCs, My Doom smashed the cyber world by instigating a tremendous denial of service attack. It transmitted itself via email in a specially deceitful way that a receiver would first consider a bounced error message that read “Mail Transaction Failed.
” However, as soon as the receiver clicked upon the message, the attachment executed and the worm transmitted to email addresses found in the user’s address book. It is easy to believe that this mass mailer worm caused a damage of almost $38 billion.
In 2001, Code Red was released on July 13. It took advantage of a flaw in Microsoft Internet Information Server. The virus infected over 400,000 servers including that of the White House. It's estimated total damage was around 2.5 billion dollars.
Here is an amusing fact about this dangerous virus—it didn’t need you to open an email attachment or execute a file; it just required an active Internet connection with which it ruined the Web page that you opened by displaying a text “Hacked by Chinese!” It’s no surprise that this virus devastated nearly $2.6 billion dollars by hitting almost one million PCs.
So, always be careful from the viruses and follow the basic rules, precaution is better than failure.