Here, in our beloved Pandora FMS blog, we have talked a big deal about computer risks. This does not mean of course that we consider ourselves to be faint-hearted or timid, but rather cautious heroes. And in order not to be alone in a battle against the evil that lurks around, today, continuing with this theme of terror and digital desolation, we bring you: some of the most dangerous computer viruses in human history!
These are the computer viruses you should fear the most!
What is a computer virus?
Before bringing on the storm, listing malicious software, we’d better explain a little what this whole thing about computer viruses is and why, although you have to be careful with them, you don’t need to use masks.
A computer virus is a malicious program or code created and conceived to truncate the operation of a computer.
Like the biological microorganism, they are also infectious, although these replicate only within computer equipment.
They propagate from one computer to another, usually attached to a legitimate document, then execute their cursed code.
Although you may think the computer virus has been with us since the first pulley system, it was Leonard M. Adleman, in 1984, the first to use the term while finding similarities between his student Fred Cohen’s college experiment and the HIV virus.
List of the most dangerous computer viruses that have ever existed
Now, let’s get down to business!
We go into it!
I LOVE YOU
Funny thing is, this virus does everything but love and appreciate you for who you are. In fact, on its own, it has devoted itself to creating chaos around the world with about 10 million dollars in damages.
It came to be believed that 10% of all computers in the world were infected by it and it caused large institutions and governments to disable their email system for not wanting to take any risks.
You see, something not even the tiresome, stalking Linkedin publicity achieved.
I love you was created in the Philippines by Reonel Ramones and Onel de Guzman using social engineering (“A set of techniques that cybercriminals use to trick incautious users into sending them confidential data, infecting their computers with malware, or opening links to infected sites”) they sneaked it into the Philippines, to all of Asia, and in a short time to the rest of the world.
As the email they sent for you to click on the attachment was a declaration of love, the virus was called “I Love You”.
Its creator was David L. Smith and detonated in ’99 as an infected Word document that was presented to the world as the best thing ever for perverts:
“Hello, I am a list of passwords for pornographic websites.”
At that time the virus was mailed to the fifty most important people in your email and created havoc with his deceptive list of passwords. Of course, the most curious and salacious ones fell for it right away.
It also came with a sort of cover letter, a reference to the Simpsons.
Less than a week after his presentation to the public, David L. Smith was captured by the police. Oh, I’m sorry, David.
However, for his special collaboration with the authorities in trapping other perfidious virus creators, his sentence was reduced from 10 years to 20 months.
Still… His virus caused 80 million dollars in damage.
If “Melissa” sounds like a sinuous and more like the name of a hurricane, it has to do with the fact that it comes from an exotic dancer from Florida.
A trojan (“A malware that presents itself to the user as a seemingly legitimate and harmless program, but which, when executed, gives an attacker remote access to the infected computer”) created especially to truncate computers with Windows.
It did a number of awkward things on your computer, including capturing forms.
Most computers became infected due to hidden downloads or phishing (“A technique that involves sending an email from a cybercriminal to a user pretending to be a legitimate entity”).
It was used for such ominous things as stealing login credentials from social networks, emails, and bank accounts.
In the United States alone, more than one million computers were infected.
It compromised corporations such as Amazon, Oracle, Bank of America, Cisco, and many more.
The virus is believed to have been created by the Israel Defense Forces along with the United States Government.
With these two agents involved, what do you think? That the virus was spawned as an experimental project and that it got out of hand? Or that it was done, expressly, to bring chaos upon our civilization?
This virus was designed for cyber warfare.
It had the goal of halting Iran’s advances in nuclear defense. And so it was, much of the infection took place in Iran.
It spread through infected pen drives and altered the speed of the devices until they became damaged.
A ransomware (“A type of malicious program that restricts access to certain parts or files of the infected operating system and asks for a ransom in exchange for removing this restriction”) Trojan that uses, among other means, email to spread.
Once your computer was infected it went on to encrypt some files from the hard drive.
The thing here is that, even though it’s easy to remove as a virus, the files it encrypted stayed still encrypted, unless you paid a ransom by a deadline.
The ransom used to be $ 400, although it could increase, and the number of infected computers was 500,000.
Make the numbers yourself… With only half paying the scammers, you could afford a house in Florida!
Thank God, Evgeny Bogachev, leader of the organization that operated with this virus was arrested and forced to return all encrypted keys.
In the end, only 1.3% of those infected fell into the scam… That’s about 3 million dollars. Not bad at all!
Dimas P.L., de la lejana y exótica Vega Baja, CasiMurcia, periodista, redactor, taumaturgo del contenido y campeón de espantar palomas en los parques. Actualmente resido en Madrid donde trabajo como paladín de la comunicación en Pandora FMS y periodista freelance cultural en cualquier medio que se ofrezca. También me vuelvo loco escribiendo y recitando por los círculos poéticos más profundos y oscuros de la ciudad.
Dimas P.L., from the distant and exotic Vega Baja, CasiMurcia, journalist, editor, thaumaturgist of content and champion of scaring pigeons in parks. I currently live in Madrid where I work as a communication champion in Pandora FMS and as a freelance cultural journalist in any media offered. I also go crazy writing and reciting in the deepest and darkest poetic circles of the city.