A while back we wrote a blog that discussed the inception and evolution of computer viruses. We focused on the ones that were the most important in terms of outlining how modern viruses, malware and ransomware were created. This time, we’re going to strictly discuss the world’s most horrifying computer bugs.
4 Blood-Curdling Computer Viruses
1. The Crypto-Ransomware Clan
Throughout the last few years, encryption-based ransomware has become increasingly prominent. Known as crypto-ransomware, it locks your computer’s files with a complex string of code and refuses to return them until you’ve paid a ransom. At its essence, it’s extortion.
Common strains of infection include CryptoWall, Cryptolocker and Locky. They have different names, but all perform the same function. Trust us, receiving a popup that demands thousands of dollars for the safe return of your sensitive personal information is quite terrifying.
Madman was a virus that didn’t do an awful lot of harm, but it certainly scared the pants off of anyone whose computer it infected. It was transmitted through floppy disk, and displayed some creepy visuals on victims’ monitors.
When you pressed buttons on your keyboard or mouse, an angry, red face would take over your computer screen. Press something again, and the messages “Nothing can save you here, friend – you’re in my world now!” and “I’m watching you” would pop up. You had to restart your computer to deactivate the virus.
Watch the video below, and pretend it’s the ‘90s when computers were still relatively new to us. Scary!
The CIH virus, better known as Chernobyl, reached its peak in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. It was one of the first computer viruses that could actually damage a machine’s hardware. It overwrote vital snippets of hard drive code that virtually destroyed the hard drive.
The name “Chernobyl” came from the fact that the virus would lie dormant within a computer until April 26, the date of the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
This infamous virus was written by Chen Ing Hau, a 24-year-old student at Taiwan’s Taipei Tatung Institute of Technology. Today, he’s a speaker at various technology events in Taiwan.
4. Unknown Virus at National Health Services Lincolnshire Hospitals
On October 30, 2016, a virus infected the networks of the National Health Services (NHS) in Lincolnshire, United Kingdom. It was so crippling that three hospitals canceled all surgeries and refused trauma patients that day.
While the NHS didn’t reveal to the public what kind of virus it was, well-known security expert, Brian Krebs, believes it was a form of ransomware.
The fact that three hospitals were shut down make this unknown virus a scary one. Imagine if the NHS didn’t have a disaster recovery plan in place, and it took longer than a day to remove the virus. Lives could have been lost.
Computer viruses take many forms, which makes it important to keep yours protected. If you’ve got any wild virus stories that made your computer go haywire, feel free to share them in the comments section!