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These are the 5 most famous computer viruses of all time!
Almost everyone has ever had a virus on his or her computer. And because of that, everyone understands the problems that go with it. From computers that no longer want to start up to endless pop-ups and hard drives that are completely emptied: a persistent virus can cause it all. In the past, viruses have caused a lot of damage to individuals, companies and governments. Read all about the 8 most famous computer viruses of all time in this blog!
Melissa was one of the first computer viruses to attract worldwide attention. The virus was designed by David L. Smith in 1999 and is named after a dancer. The virus only spread via e-mail. People received an e-mail that said "Here's the document you asked for, don't show it to anyone else."
When the file was opened, the virus spread to the top 50 contacts in the recipient's address book. This mainly meant that Melissa provided a lot of extra e-mail traffic, so that complete e-mail servers crashed. Among other things, the servers of American governments and companies were temporarily unavailable.
The virus is said to have caused around $ 80 million of damage in the United States. As a result, Smith was imprisoned for 20 months and had to pay a fine of $ 5,000.
I LOVE YOU
It sounds cute, but the ILOVEYOU virus was far from it. It can even be seen as one of the most harmful computer viruses ever. ILOVEYOU was created in 2000 by two Filipino programmers named R. Ramones and O. de Guzman. The virus was spread via e-mail. Contacts simply received a message with the title "I Love You".
Where nowadays the alarm bells are likely to ring immediately, that was not the case at that time. Full of expectation, people opened the e-mail message and clicked on the attached ‘love letter’ file. Instead of a declaration of love, they received a virus that destroyed computer files and personal documents. The virus also spread to all contacts in the address book.
Estimates indicate that about 10% of all computers worldwide were infected with this virus. The estimated damage varies between 5.5 billion and 15 billion dollars. In any case, it is clear that after the ILOVEYOU virus, email security became increasingly important. It even led to the creation of the "Enactment of E-Commerce Law".
The Filipino developers of the virus were never prosecuted for creating ILOVEYOU, since there were no rules that prohibited the writing of computer viruses.
Everyone knows Anna Kournikova of course as the famous Russian tennis star. Not only has she become known thanks to her performance on the tennis court, but also thanks to her good looks. The sportswoman was used as a source of inspiration in 2001 by the Dutch virus developer Jan de Wit.
The Anna Kournikova virus was relatively harmless compared to the aforementioned viruses, but it did attract worldwide attention. Via e-mail, people received the message that was thought to contain a photo of the Russian beauty. However, when the file was opened, the message was distributed to all contacts in the address book.
De Wit stated that he created the virus purely to see if they had learned from previous virus infections. Although the virus did not cause any harm to the computer, in some cases it caused the mail server to go offline. As a result, the damage amounted to approximately $ 150,000.
A more modern virus that caused chaos globally is CryptoLocker. This cryptovirus was spread in 2013 and 2014. CryptoLocker is ransomware that "hijacks" the content of the computer and was spread via e-mail. When the recipient opened the file, all files were encrypted. Subsequently, the computer could only be unlocked by entering the correct encryption key.
This key was only available by making a payment to the developer of CryptoLocker: Evgeniy Bogachev. This amount was in most cases around 300 dollars and could be paid with Bitcoins. The encryption code was unique and the amount had to be paid within 72 hours. Otherwise the key was destroyed forever.
CryptoLocker is said to have infected around 500,000 computers. It is estimated that Bogachev has received approximately $ 3 million from victims.
When the virus was on the computer, it was added to a botnet. This network could then be used to carry out DDOS attacks on governments or commercial organizations. Only in 2015 a solution was created that prevented this type of virus from functioning on Apple computers. Estimates suggest that around 600,000 Macs were infected with this well-known computer virus.
Prevent harmful virus infections
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