Five Computer Viruses That Wreaked Havoc Around The World

Computer viruses can be extremely destructive. They can not only cripple a victim's computer, they can also extort money and even stymie a country's nuclear development. Here are five computer viruses that caused a ton of damage to their victims' machines.

A few months ago, science YouTube channel SciShow went through a list of the five most destructive computer viruses in history. This time, SciShow expanded the list with another five computer viruses or malicious software that caused a lot of headaches for those who were targeted:

  • Chernobyl Virus: Surfaced in 1998 and rendered BIOS chips in targeted PCs unusable. It's still active today although it only targets computers that run Windows 95 or 98.
  • Code Red: It launched a stealthy attack where it would randomly try to access an IP address and cause a buffer overflow. Around 360,000 computers were affected in under 14 hours, making it one of the fastest computer virus outbreaks of all time and caused USD$2.7 billion in damage.
  • Cryptolocker: One of the most prolific ransomware that ever existed. It was officially shutdown in 2014 although variants of Crytolocker are still active.
  • Bakasoftware: A Trojan also known as Antivirus XP 2008 and Spyware Protect 2009. It was designed to trick users into thinking that it was legitimate antivirus software.
  • Stuxnet: The first known digital weapon deployed by a nation for strategic purposes of slowing down Iran's nuclear development. It was made to take out the centrifuges powering uranium enrichment in the Natanz enrichment plant in Iran.

Watch the video from SciShow for more details on each of the viruses.

[Via YouTube - SciShow]


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