Once funny, computer viruses are now a devastating and costly epidemic in our online world. 350,000 new pieces of malware are discovered every day, with an annual fee of more than $ 55 billion. But one virus – the Mydoom virus in 2004 – earns the $ 38 billion package.
This document lists the most destructive computer viruses in terms of financial impact. But keep in mind that these malicious programs are just the beginning of the ice. With 127 million new applications that attack consumers and businesses each year, the virus in this article is the largest fish in the sea with chronic cyber crime.
1. Mydoom – $38 billion
An outbreak of the worst computer virus in history, Mydoom caused an estimated $ 38 billion in 2004, but its cost-saving cost is actually $ 52.2 billion. Also known as Novarg, this malware is actually a worm, and is still being spread by e-mail in bulk. At one point, the Mydoom virus was responsible for 25% of all emails sent.
Mydoom scrubbed addresses on infected machines, and sent copies of them to those addresses. It also tied those infected machines to a computer network called a botnet that generates denial distribution (DDoS) attacks. The attack was intended to shut down the targeted website or server.
Mydoom still exists today, producing 1% of all spam emails for sensitive information. That’s no small feat when you look at the 3.4 billion phishing scam emails sent daily. With that number, Mydoom took his own life, infecting machines that were not secure enough to send 1.2 billion copies of it a year, 16 years after its creation.
Although a $ 250,000 prize was awarded, the developer of this dangerous computer worm was not caught.
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2. Sobig – $30 billion
The 2003 Sobig computer virus is actually another worm. It is only the second Mydoom virus in its range. The $ 30 billion value is global, including Canada, the U.S., the U.S., the European Union and Asia. Several versions of this worm were released in quick succession, named Sobig.A by Sobig.F, and Sobig.F was severely damaged.
This cybercriminal program has become the official computer software attached to emails. It disrupted a ticket in Air Canada and disrupted many other businesses. Despite its widespread damage, the successful bug creator was not caught.
3. Klez – $19.8 billion
Klez is the third closest to the list of the worst computer viruses ever created. With nearly $ 20 million in estimated damage, it infected about 7.2% of all computers in 2001, or 7 million PCs. Klez worm sent fake emails, senders known for fraud and, among other things, trying to block other viruses.
Like other viruses and worms, Klez was released in several varieties. It copied files, copied them, and distributed them throughout the victim’s network. It lasts for years, with each type more destructive than the last.
Windows has come a long way because most of the computer viruses on this list have reached the web. Thankfully, built-in protection with Microsoft Defender is always on the lookout.
4. ILOVEYOU – $15 billion
The 2000 virus LOVEYOU worked by sending a fake “love letter” that looks like a harmless text file. Like Mydoom, this attacker has sent copies of it to all email addresses on the contact list of the infected machine. Shortly after its release on May 4, it had spread to more than 10 million PCs.
The virus was contracted by a Filipino college student named Onel de Guzman. Due to a lack of funds, he wrote the virus to steal passwords so he could access online services that he wanted to use for free. He reportedly did not know how far his creation would go. This virus is also known as Loveletter.
Need to do your remote protection game before there is another entry into the list of the most deadly computer viruses? See our guide: How to Work Remotely and Securely
5. WannaCry – $4 billion
The 2017 WannaCry computer virus is a ransomware, a virus that takes your computer (or cloud files) and keeps them hijacked. WannaCry ransomware has torn computers across 150 countries, causing massive product losses as businesses, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations were forced to rebuild programs from scratch.
Malware erupted like wildfire on 200,000 computers worldwide. It stopped when a 22-year-old security researcher in the U.K. found a way to turn it off. Computers with outdated applications have been hit hard. That’s why security experts always recommend updating your systems regularly.
6. Zeus – $3 billion
The computer virus Zeus is an online theft tool that hit the web in 2007. A white paper made by Unisys three years later estimated that it was behind 44% of all non-maritime bank attacks. During that time, it broke 88% of all Fortune 500 companies, 2,500 corporations, and 76,000 computers in 196 countries.
Zeus botnet was a group of programs that worked together to take “bot master” machines remotely. It originated in Eastern Europe and was used to transfer money to confidential bank accounts. More than 100 members of the post-virus crime ring, mainly in the U.S., were arrested in 2010. Not as popular as it is today, but some virus source codes live on new viruses and worms.
Zeus has caused $ 100 million written damage. An estimated $ 3 billion, adjusted for inflation, puts the virus at $ 3.7 billion in modern dollars.
7. Red Code – $ 2.4 billion
First discovered in 2001, the computer virus Red Red was another worm that infected 975,000 infected people. It contained the words “The Chinese have invaded!” on infected web pages, and ran completely in memory of each machine. In most cases it left no trace on the hard drive or other storage.
The financial cost is estimated at $ 2.4 billion. The virus has attacked infected computer websites and brought widespread Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on the U.S. website. White House, www.whitehouse.gov. In fact, the White House had to change its IP address to protect Cod Red.
Can your printer get infected? See our cool infographic: Printer Safety Status
8. Slammer – $ 1.2 billion
SQL Slammer worm cost an estimated $ 750 million to 200,000 computer users in 2003. This computer virus selects IP addresses from time to time, exploits weaknesses and sends them to other machines. It has used these victim machines to launch DDoS attacks on multiple networks, significantly reducing internet traffic.
Slammer worm has reached most banks in the U.S. In Canada too, it took ATMs offline in many places. Customers at Toronto’s Imperial Bank of Commerce found themselves unable to make money. The attack reappeared in 2016, starting with IP addresses in Ukraine, China and Mexico.
9. CryptoLocker – $ 665 million
Happily, ransomware attacks like the 2013 CryptoLocker virus have sunk in since their 2017 peak. This malware has attacked more than 250,000 devices by encrypting its files. Displayed a red ransom note informing users that “encryption for your important files generated on this computer.” Payment window corresponding to note.
The virus makers used a worm called the Gameover Zeus botnet to make and send copies of the CryptoLocker virus. According to a report by security company Sophos, a typical ransomware attack costs a business $ 133,000. If we estimate that CryptoLocker has hit 5,000 companies, that would put its total cost at $ 665 million.
Where will Internet security follow next? See our guide: The Future of Cybersecurity
10. Sasser – $ 500 million
Sasser worm was written by a 17-year-old German computer science student named Sven Jaschan. He was arrested at the age of 18 in 2004 after $ 250,000 was sent to a computer virus manufacturer. A friend of Jaschan’s officials pointed out that the teens not only wrote about Sasser’s worm but also the Netsky.AC attack.
Jaschan was given a suspended sentence after it was discovered that he was too young at the time of writing malware. Sasser worm cracked millions of PCs, and although some reports put $ 18 billion worth of damage, a low infection rate raises about $ 500 million.
Infection vs worm
The difference between a virus and a worm is that the virus requires another program to operate, such as a word processor or a web browser. In contrast, the worm contains and can run, copy, and transmit copies on its own. Some computer viruses are very harmful to worms.
How to do it
To find the worst computer viruses in the world, we rely on lost production estimates, duration of infection, and estimated total number of infected machines. We also used the cost of cleaning and repair costs. Unfortunately, neither the government nor the international organization monitors the cost of computer viruses.
Most of the computer virus costs you will find in other articles online come from a single source. A very short title (section 2) of a UK security company called mi2g in 2003. That article does not show data after its ratings, and statistics in most cases appear to be on the rise, especially after our independent research. We adjusted these values up and down by comparing them with data from various government agencies and security analysts.
Computer viruses cost $ 55 billion each year to clean and repair. The largest computer virus ever the Mydoom virus, caused an estimated $ 38 billion in 2004. Also prominent are the $ 30 billion Sobig worm and the $ 19.8 billion Klez worm. Thankfully, modern secure PCs and applications make it very difficult for viruses and worms to find a basis in our interconnected lives.