the top 10 most damaging computer viruses

Be Careful What you click on

 welcome today we’re counting down the top 10 most damaging computer viruses

For this list, we’re taking a look at the most damaging computer viruses, worms, and malware to ever bring down the Internet, whether they crippled a network or damaged millions of dollars worth of equipment.

number 10

The OSX/RSplug a Trojan people who use Apple computers used to believe they were safe from viruses, sadly that belief was debunked when the OSX/RSplug hit the Internet in 2007 the first virus to target Apple’s OS with the goal of making money, it came in the form of a Trojan horse found in message boards promoting adult content online, if you were foolish enough to click a link in one of these messages indicating your QuickTime was out-of-date or offering a game download then you caught the bug fortunately the damage was minimal but it did expose Apple users to a previously unconsidered danger, and once lost Internet innocence cannot be regained

number 9

Conficker back in November 2008 the Conficker worm was released unto the wilds of Windows to steal administrator passwords and create a botnet, up to 15 million corporate government and home PCs were infected making it the single largest computer worm infection in five years and resulting in some nine billion dollars in damages. the worm was difficult to remove due to its multi-pronged attack methodology but it was eventually defeated, nobody knows who started the worm but it is believed to have originated in the Ukraine, if you know who’s responsible let Microsoft know and they’ll cut you a check for 250,000 dollars

number 8

the SQL Slammer also known as Sapphire, don’t you hate it when your internet connection slows to a crawl? back in 2003 that might have been due to the presence of the SQL slammer or Sapphire worm which spread so rapidly, that 75,000 infections occurred within 10 minutes causing nearly a billion dollars in damages it was a denial-of-service attack which targeted users favorite websites causing them to crash though it debuted in 2003 it returned in 2017 to attack legacy servers online that still hadn’t patched to defend themselves against the attack

number 7

Stuxnet computer viruses are usually more of a nuisance or costly problem than a highly engineered weapon capable of causing real-world damage Stuxnet may have been the very first weapon entirely made out of code and it was used for the specific purpose of taking down a rands primary nuclear enrichment facility up to 1,000 centrifuges were damaged or destroyed due to the virus’s infection Iran began recruiting hackers into the Iranian guard to defend against similar threats joining the US China and other nations in the art of cyber warfare nobody has claimed responsibility but the United States and Israel have been pointed to as the likely culprits

number 6

CodeRed & CodeRed II when it comes to naming a virus you might think the security company analyzing it would choose something more interesting than the beverage they were drinking at the time, but nope, a computer worm released in 2001 was named after Mountain Dew Code Red, it why not wreak havoc and annoy users all over the net, infected websites were defaced to read hello welcome to world.com hacked by Chinese it also launched denial of service attacks and targeted the White House’s website two weeks later Code Red 2 was released to exploit a security hole embarassingly Microsoft had released a patch for that hole but hadn’t used it themselves

number 5

Storm Worm was a backdoor Trojan horse that was released on the internet back in January 2007 to infect computers running Microsoft Windows OS those infected were unlucky enough to have clicked on an email with the subject line 230 dead as storm batters Europe the worm infected computers in Europe and the United States and is believed to have originated in Russia the purpose of the worm was to create a large botnet or zombie Network which may have encompassed up to 10 million computers by September of 2007

number 4

Mydoom, in January 2004 the world was hit with what was at the time the fastest spreading email worm ever released Mydoom, the Mydoom computer worm sometimes called Shinji API is spread via email and was intended to spread spam email messages via infected computers it also launched a denial of service attack against SCO groups website and created headaches for Google and other search engines, it’s believed that the virus caused more than 38 billion dollars in damages to computers and networks worldwide making it one of the most costly computer viruses to date

number 3

the Melissa virus  which was released in March of 1999 was a mass mailing macro virus that caused a lot of frustration by spreading itself to the first 50 people in an infected person’s address book when it hit it disrupted many email servers and caused more than 80 million dollars in damages but unlike pretty much every other virus on this list we know who made this one because he used some code from another macro virus David L Smith was found to be responsible for the virus he was arrested and sentenced to 10 years and a $5,000 fine however because he helped identify other internet troublemakers he was released after 20 months

number 2

Sasser and Netsky let’s hope you have a firewall installed or you might as well let SAS or a Nets guy come on in Sasser is a worm connected to the Netsky family of viruses that attacks vulnerable pcs through an open port that’s what your firewall protects against the release of the Sasser worm in 2004 caused widespread problems including the cancellation of a number of Delta Airlines transatlantic flights in addition a hospital’s x-ray machines went offline for hours and a nordic insurance company had to halt business in 130 offices “you know generally it’s not a good idea to click on any internet offers that you haven’t requested” the culprit a teenage German boy named Sven Yasha who received a 21 month suspended sentence for being behind both the Netsky and Sasser worms

number 1

ILoveYou also known as Love Bug in 2000 a worm called ILoveYou was spread across the internet via trusted email contacts those who opened the attachment included in the email called love letter for you became infected with a worm that quickly caused up to eight billion dollars in damage worldwide ILoveYou was particularly effective due to most users general ignorance at the time as it spread it caused damage to local computers by randomly overwriting MS Office image and audio files before copying itself to all contacts in someone’s Microsoft Outlook address book more than fifty million infections were reported within ten days with the virus costing approximately fifteen billion dollars to remove completely

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