5 Most Destructive Computer Viruses of 2017
2017 was host to some of the biggest cybersecurity disasters and we’re here to round up the top five worst breaches, computer viruses and digital calamities of the year.
We’ve talked before at great length about some of the worst computer viruses in history, and that list continued to grow throughout the year. 2017 was host to some of the biggest cybersecurity disasters and we’re here to round up the top five worst breaches, computer viruses and digital calamities of the year.
Conficker (aka Downup, Downadup, and Kido) is a computer worm that utilized flaws in Windows OS and dictionary attacks to obtain administrator passwords in an attempt to steal personal information. This digital menace isn’t a new entry in the virus encyclopedia. It was first discovered back in 2008 and made a resurgence in 2017 due to minor changes to the virus creating more problems for Windows users.
This malicious worm is like something out of a Tom Clancy novel. This incredibly destructive force had been in development since 2005 as a digital weapon of sorts. Stuxnet targets programmable logic controllers (PLCs) which are the fun magical things behind factory assembly lines, amusement rides, centrifuges and so forth. What makes this virus so unique (and terrifying) is that unlike other viruses, this worm can actually destroy hardware. One of the more famous examples is Iran’s compromised PLCs that caused the fast-spinning centrifuges to tear themselves apart and more recently when it was used to take down a power grid in Ukraine.
This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one ransomware entry, and this is a big one that global targeting Windows operating systems and demanding Bitcoin ransom payments. Some viruses are sneaky and too advanced to catch early, but WannaCry is not one of them. A fix is available but users have to keep their systems up-to-date which is the best way to stay ahead of most infections.
Another ransomware entry…kinda, but not really. Notpetya is designed to trick you into thinking it’s the Petya ransomware virus by demanding $300 in Bitcoin, however, it’s real goal is to destroy your files, not extort money, which means paying the ransom is useless. Once you’re infected, you’re already on red alert, and this malicious imitator has successfully infiltrated shipping ports, supermarkets, ad agencies and even law firms.
You know how in almost every zombie apocalypse movie it all starts with good intentions in a lab that spins out of control and lead to chaos. That’s sorta what happened with Eternal Blue, or at least what it led to. The virus itself was quickly laid to rest with an update from Microsoft, but what mutated from it was far worse. Like a digital Dr. Frankenstein, hackers stole the virus code and created other malicious infections including two superstar viruses on this list – WannaCry and Notpetya.
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