Malware has gone from being a mere nuisance to being a thriving underground business that rakes in millions for cybercriminals. New varieties and variants are being developed everyday. Here’s a look at some of the viruses and malware that will go down in history as being some of the worst:
1. Autorun– This virus hit USB thumb drives and other removable storage devices with a vengeance. Once an infected drive was plugged in the virus looked for a network and if one was found, used it to spread itself to every other computer attached to it. Autorun destroyed data on millions of computers.
2. Sasser – This virus targeted Windows XP and Windows 2000 users and hit the corporate world hard. It forced businesses around the world including the German postal system, several U.S. airlines and a top French news agency to shut down or experience massive delays and foul ups. It spread by scanning IP addresses.
3. Klez- This one used email spoofing to spread like wildfire. Once it infected a computer it disabled any anti-virus program it found.
4. Storm- Distributed by one of the most massive botnets in history, Storm exploited headlines and current events to spread itself. It got its name from the very first spam mails it sent out, which included a link that claimed to lead to exclusive footage of the severe storms pounding Europe at the time.
5. SQL Slammer– This virus pounded both the U.S.and South Korea, damaging the systems of many banks, airlines, and other businesses as well as some government agencies. Within 10 minutes of being unleashed on the net it had infected 75,000 computers.