The malware hall of shame for the past 20 years

Opinion by draywood

PandaLabs has drawn up a list of what it deems to be the ‘most dangerous computer threats of the last 20 years'.

To coincide...

PandaLabs has drawn up a list of what it deems to be the ‘most dangerous computer threats of the last 20 years'.

To coincide with the 20th anniversary of the launch of Panda Security, it claimed that, in no particular order, the most dangerous threats for home users and for businesses of the last 20 years are;

- Friday 13 or Jerusalem. Created in Israel in 1988 (even before Panda existed) and first reported in Jerusalem, it supposedly commemorated the 40th anniversary of Israel. Whenever the date was Friday 13th, it would delete all programs run on an infected computer.

- Barrotes. The first well-known Spanish virus appeared in 1993. Once on the computer, it would remain hidden until 5th January, when it would activate displaying just a series of bars on the monitor.

- Cascade or Falling Letters. Created in Germany in 1997. Whenever it infected a computer, it would make the letters on the screen fall in a cascade.

- CIH or Chernobyl. This virus was produced in Taiwan in 1998, and took just one week to propagate and infect thousands of computers.

- Melissa. First appeared on 26th March in the USA. This ultra-smart malicious code used social engineering to spread, with a message that read "Here is that document you asked for... don't show anyone else ;-)".

- ILoveYou or Loveletter. So famous, it hardly needs introduction. This romantic virus emerged from the Philippines in 2000. With the subject ‘ILoveYou' it infected millions of computers around the world and even organizations like the Pentagon.

- Klez. Created in 2001 in Germany, it only infected computers on the 13th of odd months.

- Nimda. The name is basically ‘admin' spelled backwards, as it was able to create administrator privileges on infected computers. It originated in China on 18th September, 2001.

- SQLSlammer. This was another major headache for companies. It first appeared on 25th January, 2003, and affected more than half a million servers in just a few days.

- Blaster. This virus, created in the USA on 11th August, 2003, contained a message in its code: "I just want to say love you san!!" (We still don't know who ‘San' is), and "Billy gates, why do you make this possible? Stop making money and fix your software".

- Sobig. This German virus was famous in the summer of 2003. The F variant was the most damaging, it attacked on 19th August of the same year and generated more than one million copies of itself.

- Bagle. This emerged on 18th January, 2004, and has been one of the most prolific viruses with respect to the number of variants.

- Netsky. This worm also came from Germany in 2004 and exploited vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. Its creator was also responsible for the notorious Sasser virus.

- Conficker. Last on the list and most recent, it appeared in November 2008. Oddly enough, if your keyboard is configured in Ukrainian, it won't affect you.

I'm sure there are some (un)happy memories there for you, and the inclusion of Conficker along with the recently remembered Melissa and Iloveyou worms, if you have any other that you would like to reminisce about then feel free to share them.

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