I Love you and My Doom – viruses to be aware of
Over the years, there have been many viruses that have blown up on a worldwide scale, causing entire networks to have to be shut down and cleaned out.
The first computer virus ever was released in 1982, and was called Elk Cloner. The virus would infect floppy disks used in Apple II computers, and then when the disks were inserted into the machine it would overwrite part of the boot sequence, causing the computer to display a silly poem every time it was started. Hardly the end of the world, but quite annoying – and very difficult to remove, as there was no anti-virus software!
In the early days, viruses spread slowly using floppy disks, but this transmission method was killed off as everyone moved over to CD-ROMs, which cannot be written to. After a few years’ respite, however, everyone started to get on the Internet and use email, and viruses exploded all over again.
Probably the most famous of all email viruses (sometimes called worms) is the ILOVEYOU virus. This was an email that posed as a love letter – and, as the virus used address books to spread, the email appeared to come from a friend or colleague, making curious people much more likely to open it. The virus would then attempt to steal passwords and send them to an email address in the Philippines, although this part of the virus didn’t work for long.
Today, the fastest-spreading email virus ever is known as Mydoom. Again, the attack was psychological more than anything – the virus posed as a message saying that an email you sent wasn’t delivered. At its peak, Mydoom made the web go around 50% slower than normal. The virus also blocked infected computers from accessing microsoft.com and most anti-virus websites, making it difficult to remove.
About the Author: John Gibb is the owner of Virus protection resources
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