Computer Viruses by Name

Many computer viruses have come out over the years. Some are simply just created to annoy the user/owner of equipment while others are malicious and intended to steal personal information. Almost all computer users have had a virus at some point. For most computer users, a virus creates a roadblock that can be taken care of by regular maintenance and protected against with an antivirus software. In some cases, a computer virus can cripple the machine, causing a complete disaster for the computer owner.

In some cases, computer viruses cause so much damage that they are named and end up being mentioned amongst top headlines on the news. Here are some of the most common computer viruses over the years:

  • ILOVEYOU was a virus that ended up being one of the most damaging computer viruses ever created. The virus spread globally and caused an estimated $10 billion in damage. During the ILOVEYOU issue, several large corporations and government branches ended up taking their mail servers offline to prevent a possible infection. The virus was spread through email attachment and included a profession of love, capturing the user's interest and curiosity. The two Filipino programmers who created the virus were never charged because laws against malware did not exist. After the ILOVEYOU virus had become such an issue, laws were created to address the problem.

  • Sasser was a Windows worm that was created by a computer science student. The Sasser worm slows down and crashes the computer, making it almost impossible for the user to reset without cutting power to the machine entirely. The worm’s effects were widespread, with almost a million infections across several airlines, news agencies, hospitals, and other major organizations.

  • Trojan horse Zeus infected Windows computers and would trigger many criminal actions. One of the common tasks was logging keystrokes and form grabbing to capture credit card numbers, passwords, logins, etc. The damage from Zeus was estimated to be around $70 million and over 1 million computers were infected.

  • The CryptoLocker was a form of Trojan horse ransomware that targeted computers which were running Windows. Once the virus was installed, it would encrypt files on the machine, and then a pop-up would tell the user that they had to pay a fee to gain access to the data. Law enforcement eventually gained access to the botnet that created CryptoLocker, which was also the same creator of Zeus. Roughly $3 million was collected from the victims of the CryptoLocker.

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