The 5 Most Famous computer Viruses of All Time

Surely everybody met computer viruses. They can cause vast harm both in personal documents and business data. From year to year, new ransomware appear to lock our home and business computers. Usually, they are just simple malware which can be liquidated easily with antivirus software. But there are some exceptions. Let’s see the 5 most devastating computer viruses of all time, which caused billions of dollars’ worth damage.


At the 2000s this email virus infected at least half a million computers. It was special because the users got an email with the subject line ‘I LOVE YOU’ and the attachment ‘love-letter-for-you.txt.vbr’ as well. In the VBS infected computers the worm started to search for email addresses right away in order to send a copy of itself. Mostly it ruined music and image files unrecoverably. Since there were no laws against these kinds of crimes, the developers not have been impeached. It was assumed that one-tens of the world’s computers were infected by this virus.


It became the fastest-spreading email worm ever in 2004 when it was in its heydays. When the virus infected a computer, it was able to destroy the whole operating system. The typical text of the message was: ‘I’m just doing my job, nothing personal, sorry’. The harm caused by the worm was estimated at around 40 billion dollars.


The Internet was full of it in 1999. It infected Word documents and sent toward a copy of itself. The worm was created by David L. Smith who named it after a Californian dancer. The estimated damage associated with the virus was around 1 billion dollars.


It was created in 2001 and infected 2.2 million computers worldwide in its first 24 hours. The virus used five different methods to infect. These were: emails, browsing of web sites, open network shares, exploitation of various Microsoft vulnerabilities and back doors left behind by other worms. It was not enough to remove it with antivirus software, several fixing packages had to be run on the computer. It is interesting that the reversed spelling of the worm is “admin”.


The worm infected the files that were on the Winchester and sent out to email addresses. To send the messages it uses the personnel data of the infected computers owner so nobody would think that there is a virus in it. There is a 5% chance that Sircam activates a payload that deletes all files and folders of Windows until the computer is not able to start off.

Nowadays there is a mass of advanced viruses, it is enough to think about the latest ransomware which reached millions of computers all across the world. SamSam earned millions of forints just in minutes. Experts say that these kinds of viruses are installed on computers manually after their security system has been cracked. The antivirus ESET updates the list of the most widespread viruses constantly based on countries and times. The full list can be accessed here. It is important to know that today’s email providers have well-constructed antivirus systems. Via Gmail support, we can see how thy system protects our data. If the provider finds a virus in an email which has been sent to us it automatically rejects the message, then notifies the user about it. It can happen that the virus scanning attachment is not working. What happens if we get a worm at this period of time? When the system starts to operate again it will not let the infected email to be downloaded.

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