Let us start by discussing what malware refers to – it is harmful software developed to attack and infect computer systems and other similar devices. To be precise, ‘malware’ is an umbrella term that includes within its ambit various threats such as ransomware, worm, trojan, and virus.
In most cases, malware is deployed through vishing, phishing, or smishing, which are all kinds of social engineering attacks. In simple terms, threat actors attempt to corrupt sensitive data by manipulating people into downloading attachments, clicking links, or offering access over the phone.
Next, let us see 5 of the worst malware cases in history to have affected people and businesses alike.
1. ILOVEYOU Worm (2000)
A Worm that was designed to look like a love letter sent via e-mail, ILOVEYOU attacks resulted in damages amounting to nearly USD 15 billion and affected as many as 45 million individuals and their computer systems in the 2000s. It is known as one of the first malware attacks that made use of social engineering to lure its victims by self-replicating by using the victim’s email once launched.
2. The Stuxnet Worm (2010)
The Stuxnet worm was used in a political attack on the nuclear program of Iran in 2010. It was designed to attack the many zero-day vulnerabilities present in Windows systems. The design of this Worm was ingenious in that it could be transmitted without an internet connection, merely by using USB drives. It is speculated that this Worm was created at the request of a government in order to further its political agenda.
3. The CryptoLocker Ransomware (2013)
The CryptoLocker is probably the most notorious ransomware on this list and is still remembered for the havoc it wreaked in 2013. It resulted in damages amounting to nearly USD 3 million and harmed as many as 200,000 Windows systems. It made use of an expansive, intricate and complicated encryption key that stumped even experts, and was transmitted via e-mails containing malicious files that were disguised as PDF files.
4. The Emotet Trojan (2018)
Counted among one of the most destructive and dangerous malware to have wreaked havoc on the world by the United States Department of Homeland Security, Emotet was an extremely destructive Trojan that was used extensively in the theft of financial information like crypto-currencies and bank login details. This Trojan was transmitted mostly through phishing campaigns and malicious emails in the form of spam.
5. CovidLock Ransomware (2020)
The coronavirus pandemic has given rise to a lot of gear and the spread of misinformation among the masses. True to form, cyber-criminals circled in like vultures to exploit and attack these vulnerabilities. CovidLock is the ransomware in question. It feeds on the victims’ fear and uncertainty by infecting their systems with malicious files that offer to elaborate and provide information pertaining to COVID-19. On being installed, this ransomware encrypts data from android systems and deprives the victims of the ability to access the data in their systems. The only way to regain access to your android device is to pay a ransom of USD 100 for each device.
While malware differs greatly in how they spread and infect computers, they all can lead to similar symptoms. Computers that are infected with malware can show any of the following symptoms:
1. Deleted files
2. Slow web browser or computer speed
3. Strange computer behavior
4. Freezing or Crashing
5. Difficulty connecting to networks
6. Appearance of strange programs, files, or desktop icons.
The purpose of recounting the 5 instances above is only to tell you why it is so important for you to protect and safeguard yourselves against such hackers and malware. It is imperative in order to secure your personal, financial, social, and political interests, especially in this day and age when practically every aspect of our lives is on the internet. There are many general practices that users must follow to prevent malware infections. For instance, keeping the software and operating systems updated with current vulnerability patches. These patches are released to patch bugs or other security flaws that could be corrupted by attackers.
Are you looking for help to secure and protect your computer systems and devices from malware attacks? Well, look no further than Avie Pros. We have been serving Central Kentucky for over 13 years, and throughout those years we’ve worked on a plethora of devices dating back to the original Smartphones.
With over 30000+ repairs to date, we are constantly acquiring and upgrading to new equipment and technologies to ensure that you have the best experience possible. Trust us and stay protected always!