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The Evolution of Computer Viruses

THE EVOLUTION OF COMPUTER VIRUSES 1974 The rabbit or (wabbit)virus, more of fork bomb than a virus is written. The Rabbit virus makes multiple copies of itself on a single computer until it clogs the system, reducing system performance, before finally reaching a threshold. 1975 ANIMAL is written by John Walker for the UNIVAC 1108. ANIMAL asked a number of questions of the user in an attempt to guess the type of animal that the user was thinking of, while the related program PERVADE would create a copy of itself. 1981 Apple Viruses 1, 2, and 3 are some of the first viruses "in the wild," or in the public domain. Found on the Apple II operating system, the viruses spread through Texas A&M via pirated computer games. 1986 Two programmers named Basit and Amjad replace the executable code in the boot sector of a floppy disk with their own code designed to infect each 360kb floppy accessed on any drive. 1988 One of the most common viruses, Jerusalem, is unleashed. Activated every Friday the 13th, the virus affects both .exe and .com files and deletes any programs run on that day. MacMag and the Scores virus cause the first major Macintosh outbreaks. ´1991 Tequila is the first widespread polymorphic virus found in the wild. Polymorphic viruses make detection difficult for virus scanners by changing their appearance with each new infection. 1992 1300 viruses are in existence, an increase of 420% from December of 1990. The Dark Avenger Mutation Engine (DAME) is created. It is a turns ordinary viruses viruses. The Virus toolkit that into polymorphic Laboratory (VCL) is also made available. It is the first actual virus creation kit. Creation 1994 Good Times email hoax tears through the computer community. The hoax warns of a malicious virus that will erase an entire hard drive just by opening an email with the subject line "Good Times." Though disproved, the hoax resurfaces every six to twelve months. Good times 1995 Word Concept becomes one of the most prevalent viruses in the mid-1990s. It is spread through Microsoft Word documents. 1996 Baza, Laroux (a macro virus), and Staog viruses are the first to infect Windows95 files, Excel, and Linux respectively. 1988 Currently harmless and yet to be found in the wild, StrangeBrew is the first virus to infect Java files. 1999 The Melissa virus, W97M/Melissa, executes a macro in a document attached to an email, which forwards the document to 50 people in the user's Outlook address book. The virus also infects other Word documents and subsequently mails them out as attachments. Melissa spread faster than any previous virus, infecting an estimated 1 million PCs. 2000 The Love Bug, also known as the ILOVEYOU virus, sends itself out via Outlook, much like Melissa. W97M.Resume.A, a new variation of the Melissa virus, is determined to be in the wild. The "resume" virus acts much like Melissa, using a Word macro to infect Outlook and spread itself. The "Stages" virus, disguised as a joke email about the stages of life, spreads across the Internet. Unlike most previous viruses, Stages is hidden in an attachment with a false "txt" extension, making it easier to lure recipients into opening it. 2001 Shortly after the September 11th attacks, the Nimda virus infects hundreds of thousands of computers in the world. The virus is one of the most sophisticated to date with as many as five different methods of replicating and infecting systems. The "Anna Kournikova" virus, which mails itself to persons listed in the victim's Microsoft Outlook address book, worries analysts who believe the relatively harmless virus was written with a "tool kit" that would allow even the most inexperienced programmers to create viruses. 2002 Celebrity named viruses continue with the "Shakira," "Britney Spears," and "Jennifer Lopez" viruses emerging 2003 In January the relatively benign "Slammer" (Sapphire) worm becomes the fastest spreading worm to date, infecting 75,000 computers in approximately ten minutes, doubling its numbers every 8.5 seconds in its first minute of infection. 2004 In January a computer worm, called MyDoom or Novarg, spreads through emails and file-sharing software faster than any previous virus or worm. MyDoom entices email recipients to open an attachment that allows hackers to access the hard drive of the infected computer. An estimated one million computers running Windows are affected by the fast-spreading Sasser worm in May. Victims include computer businesses, such as British Airways, banks, and government offices, including Britain's Coast Guard. The worm does not cause irreparable harm to computers or data, but it does slow computers and cause some to quit or reboot without explanation. 2005 March saw the world's first cell phone virus: Commwarrior-A. The virus probably originated in Russia, spread via text message. In the final analysis, Commwarrior-A only infected 60 phones, but it raised the spectre of many more-and more effective-cell phone viruses. 2008 First discovered in November, the Conficker virus is thought to be the largest computer worm since Slammer of 2003. It's estimated that the worm infected some where between nine and 15 million server systems worldwide, including servers in the French Navy, the UK Ministry of Defense, the Norwegian Police, and other large government organizations. 2010 Discovered in June, Stuxnet is a computer worm targeting Siemens industrial software through Microsoft Windows. It is the first worm that corrupts industrial equipment. 2012 Flame, a malware that attacks computers using Microsoft Windows, is discovered. A report, released on May 28 by Budapest University's CrySyS Lab, states that "arguably, it is the most complex malware ever found." Flame is capable of recording Skype conversations, audio, keyboard activity, network traffic and screenshots. 2013 According to KSN data, in 2013 Kaspersky Lab products neutralized 5,188,740,554 cyber-attacks on user computers and mobile devices. Home User 24 million 16 million households experience heavy spam. households have experienced a serious virus problem in the past two years. 8 million 1 million households have had spyware in the past 6 months households lost money or compromised accounts from misused phishing. £2.79b The estimated cost of all households impacted by viruses, spyware and phishing. 40% of household are affected by viruses. Virus Threat By Type Password stealers and Worms 2% monitoring tools 2% Adware Unwanted Software 4% Backdoors 1% Trojan Downloaders 7% Viruses 57% Misc. Trojans 21% 10 Most Costly Computer Viruses of all Time According to Kaspersky Security Bulletin, here are the top 10 countries that experience the most online virus threats 55.9% Russian Federation 54.8% Oman 50.1% United States 49.6% Armenia 48.7% Belarus 47.5% Azerbaijan 47% Kazakhstan 45.4% Iraq 45.1% Ukraine 45.1% Guinea-Bissau Infographic brought to you by cheekymunkey MyDoom – $38 billion So Big – $37.1 billion ILOVEYOUE – $15 billion Conficker – $9.1 billion Code Red - $2 billion Melissa – $1.2 billion SQL Slammer – $750 million Nimda – $635 million Sasser – $500 million

The Evolution of Computer Viruses

shared by CheekyMunkey on Sep 27
The computer virus industry costs the economy billions. Since 1974 they have plagued computers and frustrated users all over the world. When the Internet first became a common feature of the everyday ...


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