Computer viruses can have devastating effects, they can loss of data, and millions of dollars in damage and cost to disinfect the infected computers. In today’s article, I am going to share with you the scariest computer viruses in the world.
You are reading an article about the scariest computer viruses that may have damaged your computer at least once in the past or currently, if not more than once. If you have no prior knowledge of this topic, fear not – all shall be explained to you shortly. But first…
The worst computer virus of all the time
Did you know that the worst computer virus of all time, called Stuxnet, was found in 2010? Because it targeted industrial software and equipment, it is also known as the first “cyberweapon”.
Stuxnet is written in a way that requires several teams of software engineers working together. It is complicated for one person to write such viruses nowadays, which demonstrates the capabilities of multidisciplinary teams.
Stuxnet was founded in June 2010 by two independent researchers, so don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
This virus can damage your computer, or even worse – an industrial system (which likely uses Windows)! Stuxnet spreads via infected USB flash drives.
So be careful with them and don’t plug things you don’t trust into your computer! Because of the progressive complexity of viruses nowadays, they are often unable to infect a system before it is updated.
This means that there’s practically no difference between “computer viruses” and “computer worms”, since both spread over networks. Not all of them propagate (spread). Some of them are well-defined as computer worms.
A worm is a type of program that infects computers “over the wire” (network).
If you don’t update your system, attackers may exploit flaws in outdated programs to infect it with malware.
This kind of attack is called a zero-day exploit, which means there are no patches (i.e., fixes) and the target is not aware of the problem.
You can use Windows Defender to protect your computer from such viruses (and worms). It is a good idea to develop good habits, like not opening any file you don’t trust without scanning it with an antivirus first (yes, macros included!) and using safe browsing habits.
There has been a lot of criticism on antiviruses lately, but you should know that they are very important for your security.
Even if they can’t detect all viruses, which is likely the case nowadays, since malware authors write polymorphic code (i.e., self-mutating) to avoid detection.
Polymorphic code is a sequence of computer instructions that can be used to infect a system without being recognized by antiviruses.
The most common way to get infected with viruses is by opening files, especially when they are “disguised” as something else.
These are called social engineering attacks. Another possible attack vector is malvertising – malicious ads on legitimate websites which spread malware.
Most viruses and worms aren’t dangerous anymore, since they can’t cause any damage to “modern” computers. They are often just annoying – or embarrassing if you want to use a funny definition of the term.
The scariest computer viruses in the world
It infects your computer and turns your screen into a picture of Rick Astley singing “Never gonna give you up” every 30 seconds.
When your computer gets infected with this virus, hackers can steal personal information using any kind of machine e.g. Smartphone, TV, or even an ATM.
This virus is similar to the crypto wall virus which encrypts all your important files making them unreadable.
It infects executable files and modifies code to include malicious routines. This turns it into a type of malware that can move throughout a network and infect other computers.
Also known as the internet worm, it copies itself to removable and fixed drives. It can significantly slow down your computer and prevent it from restarting properly.
This virus leaves an image of the world-famous painting “Mona Lisa” on your computer screen.
It infects your computer and completely takes over all its functions including password, webcam, and even ATM Pin.
Encrypts data on hard drives and in the computer’s memory and asks for a payment to decrypt it.
It can also lock access to the computer, asking for a ransom paid in bitcoins before the restrictions are removed.
This virus is similar to WannaCry but more dangerous as it encrypts entire hard drives rather than just certain data.
This virus can steal data like user names, passwords, and credit card information.
Creates a hidden storage area on the computer’s hard drive. It can be used to store files or logs of online banking sessions so that hackers have access to all your bank account details when they want them. Also known as Vawtrak, Snifula, and Conflicker.
Infects Windows computers and turns ATMs into spy tools to get all your bank details, passwords, etc.
It can also record your PIN so that hackers can use it, later on, to withdraw money from the machine.
Infects smart electrical devices like Smartphones, TV, and ATMs. It can cause a blackout by switching off the power supply in your area.
If your computer gets infected with this virus, hackers will steal all your personal information and use it to access your bank accounts and send money to another account.
They can also use it for malicious activities like sending out spam or giving out a virus to another computer.
Primarily infects computers using Windows OS. It sends out spam emails and steals your personal information.
This virus has it all, it can do just about everything including changing the system date, taking over control of any webcam connected to the computer, or even blocking access to administrator rights.
It can even set up a hidden file system on your computer and infect other computers over the network.
This virus is ransomware that encrypts files on infected machines and asks for payment to decrypt them.
It also asks for the person’s social media profile e.g. Facebook or Twitter account and posts links to pornographic material online.
This virus can take control of your computer remotely and turn the webcam into a spy tool. There is also evidence that it has been used in extortion activities, hacking into computers, and stealing personal information which was later sold on the dark web.
That is it, sure, there are more viruses out there that may affect your computer but these are some of the scariest and most dangerous viruses in the world.