A computer virus is a program, script, and macro which planned to cause harm; steal private information, change data, send e-mail and display messages. More importantly, when the virus executed then it spreads by
copying itself into or over the following:-
- Data files
- Boot sector of a computer’s
- Hard drive
- Potentially anything else writable.
Virus writers use detail knowledge of security vulnerabilities to gain access to a host’s computer.
When was term “Virus” first Used
The theory of a computer program capable of reproducing itself was first mentioned byJohn von Neumann in his 1949 “Theory of self-reproducing automata” essay.
First computer virus ever created.
Elk Cloner was the first computer virus written by Rich Skrenta in 1982. He was a 15-year old high school student at the time. The Elk Cloner virus spread to other computers by monitoring the floppy drive and copying itself to any floppy diskette. Once the infected floppy inserted in the computer it infects the computer and then the infected computer display a short poem on every 50th boot.
How to protect your computer from viruses
Anti-virus software is the solution to protect a computer from viruses. Once installed on a computer an antivirus monitors, detects, and cleans any computer viruses.
Examples of computer viruses
There are many types of computer virus such as:-
- Appending virus
- Boot sector virus
- Space filler virus
- Cavity virus
- CMOS virus
- Companion virus
- Encrypted virus
- Exe Virus
- Rabbit Virus
- MBR virus
- Non-resident virus
- Overwrite and Stealth virus
History of computer viruses is too long and it is very difficult to cover it in a single article. in the following, I am giving the list and short introduction of 10 most destructive viruses in the world ever.
20 Most destructive virus in the world
CIH virus was created in 1998 in Taiwan. The virus destructs and corrupts computer data after being activated. The virus infects all executable files in Windows 95 and 98 systems. Once the virus activated, it destroys computer hard disk data and also overwrites system’s BIOS chip which also required BIOS chip reprogramming otherwise system cannot boot at all.
This computer virus was created by David L in the 1999 and was named after a Florida dancer. It started as an infected Word document that was posted; up on the alt-six USENET group, claiming to be a list of passwords for pornographic sites. This got people curious and when it 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 in email traffic and disrupting the email services of governments and corporations. It also sometimes corrupted documents by inserting a Simpsons reference into them.
Another very deadly computer virus was the “I love you” virus. Everybody loves to hear these words, right? This virus was developed in 2000 to attack on the basis of the loveliest human emotion. A user gets an email with the subject line “I Love You”. And to express more love, there is an attachment that states “love letter for you”. If you happen to click the attachment, which everybody else would for sure, the virus would activate itself. And the same email would be sent to the top 50 people in the Windows address book. Rightly said by someone, love is surely dangerous.
4.Beast Trojan Horse
Beast Trojan Horse was developed in 2002. The virus infects user computer system completely after activating. Until user clicks and executes the virus, it remains safe and does no harm. But, after the execution, it replicates itself and several copies will be stored in multiple directories of your computer system. Having the reverse connection capability, a remote user can access your file manager, registry editor, Webcam, power options files, remote IP scanner, including many other options.
Sobig.F was created in 2003, this virus attacked Internet gateways and email servers and causing big damage in billions of dollars. It slow down all the global Internet access. It used to collect different email addresses from the infected computer systems. Then virus would send its multiple copies to all these addresses.
6. SQL Slammer
SQL Slammer was founded in 2003, it crashes servers and slows down all Internet traffic. Now, the SQL base has nothing to do with it. SQL Slammer infected the servers on UDP and packed them in a single packet. As a result, routers could not work. It is a fast spreading antivirus and infects most of its 75,000 victims within ten minutes. SQL Slammer significantly slowed down general Internet traffic. It is generally targeted the servers generating random IP addresses and discharging the worm to those IP addresses.
7. My Doom
Mydoom was a worm for Windows appeared in 2004, created a huge wave of shocking email messages. This is the fastest spreading email worms since ILOVEYOU. The virus would come as an email attachment into your mail inbox. You would receive a misleading message like “mail transaction failed”. When a user would click on the mail, the virus would get activated. The worm would get transferred to the address book of the mail.
The author of this virus is unknown and I think the creator paid to create it since it has the text message, “Andy; I’m just doing my job, nothing personal, sorry,”. It was named by McAfee employee Craig Schmugar; one of the people who had discovered it. ‘mydom’ was a line of text in the program’s code (my domain) and sensing this was going to be big, added ‘doom’ into it.
8. Code Red
code red was discovered by two eEye Digital Security employees in 2001. The pairs were drinking Code Red Mountain Dew at the time of discovery so its name become code red. The worm targeted Microsoft IIS web server installed computer andexploiting a buffer overflow problem in the system. It leaves a very little trace on the hard disk as it is able to run entirely on memory, with a size of 3,569 bytes. Once infected, it will do to make a hundred copies of itself but due to a bug in the programming; it will duplicate even more and ends up eating a lot of the resources of the system.
This was a dangerous virus created by a 17 year old German boy Sven Jaschan a comp in 2004, and the virus proved to be very destructive. It hit several big names like British Coast Guard, Delta Airlines, and Agence France- Presse. It slows down and crashes the computer while making it hard to reset without cutting the power; the effects were incredibly disruptive; with millions of computers being infected, and important, critical infrastructure affected. The worm took advantage of a buffer overflow Vulnerability in Local Security Authority Subsystem Service (LSASS); which controls the security policy of local accounts causing crashes to the computer. It will also use the system resources to propagate itself to other machines through the Internet and infect others automatically.
10. Bandook Rat
Bandook Rat is similar to Beast Trojan Horse, is more destructive than the latter. Developed in 2005. It is a backdoor Trojan horse entering Windows operating systems mainly, such as Windows NT, XP, 2000, 2003, Vista, and 7. It is still being worked upon to make it one of the most dangerous computer viruses of all time.
Leap-A also known as Oompa-A created in 2006. It targeted Mac systems and used the iChat instant messaging app to propagate across vulnerable Mac Computers. After infecting the Mac computer, the virus spread itself to all iChat contacts and sends a message to each and every person.
12. Storm Worm
This virus created in the year 2006 and it hit the mail inboxes. It is a backdoor Trojan horse. People get email with the subject line “230 dead as storm batters Europe”. The Storm Worm virus easily tricks the victims to click on the fake links that were already infected by the virus turning any Windows computer into a botnet. As of January 22, 2007, the Storm Worm accounted for 8% of all malware infections globally. The Storm Worm also allow a remote user operate the system to send spams over the Internet.
13. Anna Kournikova virus
Anna Sergeyevna Kournikova is a Russian former tennis player. Her look and personality status made her one of the best known tennis stars worldwide. At the peak of her fame, fans looking for images of Kournikova made her name one of the most common search strings on Google Search.
So, her name brings a lovely picture of a beautiful tennis playing woman. And the younger guys easily cheated on the name of a that beautiful tennis start. This virus comes to mail inbox in the form of an email message. When someone open the mail, the virus gets forwarded to all the contacts present in the mail address book.
Conficket also known as Downup or Downadup, Conficker is a worm of unknown authorship for Windows. It was first to appear in 2008 and its name comes from the English word, configure and a German pejorative. It infects computers using flaws in the OS to create a botnet. It’s a malware and was able to infect more than 9 million computers all around the world, affecting governments, businesses, and people. Conficker give birth to a huge army of remotely controlled computer systems, which were used to steal important financial data and other information. Many experts and anti-virus researchers called it “super bug” and “super worm” for its risky infection.
The virus propagated in the year 2001. The virus name Nimda is the reverse of work “Admin”. Nimda spread itself via emails, server weak points, shared folders, and file transfers. The virus saw its rose after the famous 9/11 attack and people thought it to be a cyber-terror attack due to that.
It’s a Trojan horse made to infect Windows computers so that it will do various criminal tasks. The most common of these tasks are usually man-in-the-browser key logging and form grabbing. Zeus First identified in 2009.
Israeli Defence Force and American Government created; Stuxnet is an example of a virus created for the purpose of cyber warfare; as it intended to disrupt the nuclear efforts of the Iranians. It was estimated that Stuxnet has managed to ruin one-fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges and that nearly 60% of infections were concentrated in Iran.
Mydoom was a worm for Windows appeared in 2004 that; became one of the fastest spreading email worms since ILOVEYOU. The author is unknown and I think the creator paid to create it since it has the text message, “Andy; I’m just doing my job, nothing personal, sorry,”. It was named by McAfee employee Craig Schmugar; one of the people who had discovered it. ‘mydom’ was a line of text in the program’s code (my domain) and sensing this was going to be big, added ‘doom’ into it.The worm spreads itself by appearing as an email transmission error and contains an attachment of itself. Once executed, it will send itself to email addresses that are in a user’s address book and copies itself to any P2P program’s folder to propagate itself through that network.
CryptoLocker a form of Trojan horse targeted at computers running Windows. It uses several methods to spread itself, such as email, and once a computer infected, it will do to encrypt certain files on the hard drive and any mounted storage connected to it with RSA public key cryptography. While it is easy enough to remove the malware from the computer, the files will still remain encrypted.