Hacks and Tweaks


November 10, 2009

Two Computer Viruses That Shook The World

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Written by: arunenigma

Ever wonder which computer viruses did the most damage in the world?

Today, the rapidly changing shape of the world is making way to various breakthroughs that can either help or destroy the world. In the cyber world, a different battle is continually being fought against mutations in certain programs that become a threat to most computer systems. Trojans, worms and other viruses are present most of the time, at varying degrees or damage levels.

Even if coders or programmers have developed certain counter programs such as shields and firewalls to safeguard their computers against cyber attacks and other similar threats, sometimes these are just not enough to handle all the stress. Computer viruses still managed to pack in some considerable amount of damage despite all the futile efforts to stop them.

Like biological viruses, the cyber PC viruses behave in the same way for they cause some negative outcomes that is detrimental to the overall health of cyberspace. The damages that all these viruses caused may have reached a cumulative cost of over a hundred billion dollars. Hence, it is but fitting to enumerate two of the most well-known computer viruses that shook the world by storm.

CIH, Melissa, ILOVEYOU, Code Red, SQL Slammer, Blaster, Sobig.F, Bagle, MyDoom, and Sasser are among the most popular computer viruses of all time. But according to the extent of damage that was made, these two are the most worthy of being mentioned.

Melissa Virus

David L. Smith, the alleged creator of the Melissa virus

Melissa back in 1999 amounted to almost 600 million dollars worth of damage. The spread of this virus is so great that some giant companies such as Microsoft was forced to contain the virus infection by switching all systems off and all email capabilities shut down. It is because the virus made use of the mailing inter connectivity of the MS Outlook wherein all infected mails will receive a document email attachment that enables the replication of the virus once it is opened.
The problem is, it will email itself to 50 other names in the email directory.


On the contrary, if you want to know about a peculiar virus that gave a whooping 15 billion dollars worth of damages then the ILOVEYOU Virus is the one to talk about. This Love Bug is actually a visual basic script. Many became infected with this virus due to the very catchy ‘emotional’ or ‘affectionate’ feel to the e-mails transmitting the said virus.

These emails come with the mysterious attachment of Love-Letter-For-You.TXT.vbs. Like its Melissa predecessor, the virus self transmits itself to the names found in the Outlook’s contact list but this time, the ILOVEYOU computer virus is transmitting the infection to everyone and not just 50. To further its damage, it even had the capability to overwrite music, picture files and automatically hunt for user name or passwords that will be sent back to the virus author.

About the Author

Computer Science Graduate Student @ Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA



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