Monthly Archives: October 2011

Biggest malware threats in the last decade

Computer viruses can be a real nightmare. If don’t have properly configured virus protection software, your computer could get clogged up with different malware. It’s very easy for a virus to reproduce itself which finally can result in a computer with significantly reduced performance.

Computer virus protection has become major issue in the last decade. Computer industry has evolved and internet speed increased, and as a consequence there are numerous internet threats. This article will deal with interesting facts from the history of PC virus protection.

First widely spread virus was called Melissa and it was based on a Microsoft Word macro command. It was created in 1999 in the USA. This virus multiplied itself through email messages. It was located in Word document and once opened, virus replicated by sending copies to 50 email addresses from users’ address book.

Another very famous internet threat was a worm called ILOVEYOU, created in 2000. This malware originated from Philippines and replicated itself also through email messages. According to official analysis, this worm had a wide range of attacks. It copied itself on several different locations on the hard drive, it added new registry information and it collected user’s password and sent them to hacker’s email address. According to some estimates, this worm caused $10 billion in damages.

In 2001 internet world was struck by virus called Nimda. This was the fastest spreading virus at that moment. It’s real purpose was to bring internet traffic to a crawl. It was complexly structured and had several ways of distribution throughout internet, even though the main channel was through email messages. The Nimda virus used to create a backdoor into operating system, where attacker could use infected system with limited or administrator privileges.

In late January 2003, virus called SQL Slammer/Sapphire spread across the web. Many IT networks were totally unprepared and as a result, this virus brought down several major systems. The Bank of America’s ATM system crashed, Seattle’s 911 service and
Continental Airlines had to cancel several flights due to crash in their electronic ticketing system. It is estimated that this virus caused $1 billion in damages before antivirus system found the way to quarantine it.

Some viruses implement deeply into Windows operating system, and that was the case is Sasser and Netsky virus. This malware exploited Windows vulnerability and used internet to download multiple copies and take over the system. As a result, it was almost
impossible to shut down the computer properly and the only way to shut it down was to cut the power supply.

One of the most widely spread worms is called Storm Worm. This worm was famous because of the speed it has spread, event though it didn’t produce any real damage. It was created in 2006 and it used email protocols to spread thought the word wide web. It
carried the name Storm Worm because of the subject of an email message was “230 dead as storm batters Europe”. It appeared in 2007, when security companies detected more them 200 million instances in computers around the globe.