Top 3 Mindblowing Computer Viruses
-by Nikki Elkins
New computer viruses are created often, but some tend to be more powerful than we’d ever wish for. The damages they can leave behind can take down your computer in a jiffy. Three pretty well-known viruses did just that and took the internet to a whole new level with the disasters they caused.
Sasser and Netsky
Sasser and Netsky was a computer virus that was launched by a 17-year old German named Sven Jaschan. It is unusual in most cases for authorities to be able to track down a creator of a virus, but in this case, it happened. While Jaschan did not serve any jail time, he was put on probation for the problems he created through dispersing his computer virus.
What Jaschan created was actually two separate programs for attacking computers. The first, known as the Sasser worm, performed its attacks through the vulnerability of Microsoft Windows systems. This worm searched for vulnerable Windows systems and initiated a download of the virus. The virus made it next to impossible for users to power off their system without pulling the plug. The virus would then dig through the system using the program installed to find other vulnerable systems through their IP address making it so the next list of victims was found.
The second part of the Sasser and Netsky equation was the Netsky virus that spread through emails. It faked email addresses to give it the ability to travel using an attachment of 22,016 bytes. Through its spreading, it caused systems to collapse through a denial of service after overwhelming its attempts to handle the internet traffic.
The Sasser and Netsky virus was a powerful virus. It spread so widely that it made up for 25% of all computer viruses at one point in time. That is a hefty amount of infected computers to make up for that large of a percentage.
Many people tend to be tricked into thinking that Mac computers are the exception when it comes to computer virus vulnerability. This line of thinking is not entirely true. While the Mac operating system is hidden, there are virus creators who write their viruses to specifically hit the Mac computers. While they may not get as many victims as a Windows targeting virus would, the potential to get a virus on your Mac system still exists.
In 2006, one hacker decided to ensure Mac users were aware that they could still be vulnerable to a virus. Using the iChat instant messaging program, it sent a message to all contacts containing what appeared to be JPEG image but was actually a corrupted file. The Leap-A/Oompa-A virus didn’t cause much harm as it was more of a statement from one hacker wanting Mac users to know they were not an exception to vulnerability for viruses.
This is a confusing virus to keep straight because it has a few different names. It has been most commonly dubbed as the Storm Worm. However, Symantec calls it Peacomm while McAffee names it as Nuwar. This virus also should not be confused with the 2001 virus known as W32.Storm.Worm.
The Storm Worm virus debuted in 2006 while earning its name as the Storm Worm due to the emails it sent out that read, “230 dead as storm batters Europe.” The email would change surrounding news stories. The virus is a very intricate trojan horse with several different interchangeable attributes. Each version had a different effect. Some would turn computers into bots that spam the internet. Within the email, there is a link that makes readers believe it’s a link to a news story, but in reality, it is bringing the recipients to download the worm. This virus was labeled as one of the worst due to spreading wide and quick through attacking more than 200 million people.
While there are some computer viruses, such as the Leap-A/Oompa-A, that only exist to convey a message, most computer viruses are very harmful to your computer and take some time to remove. As computers generally possess all your important data, documents, pictures, and more, it is always wise to backup your computer on a regular basis. In the event that a virus hits, you will not lose everything at the hands of a virus. If you do find that your computer has become the victim of a virus, it is important to get your computer to the repair shop to get the virus completely removed. Your repair shop will also be able to assist you in choosing the best security options to help fend off any attackers in the future.