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The Financial Express

Over 6000 computer viruses created every month

| Updated: January 22, 2023 10:01:25


Over 6000 computer viruses created every month

Did you know that among the numerous emails we receive daily, 90 per cent contain some form of malware? As scary as it sounds, almost 6000 computer viruses are programmed and spread every month. Yes, the number is that big.

Not so long ago, in 1990, there were only 50 known computer viruses. Within 30-32 years, the production has reached beyond imagination. It is estimated that there are more than a billion computer viruses in the world now, and they are breaching privacy everyday despite all the latest measures and upgraded privacy systems. Our dependence on the internet has increased immensely, and so has increased the risk of virus attacks.

Most of the recent viruses function by multiplying themselves to jam your system, following the footsteps of the first computer virus. The name of the first computer virus was Creeper System. Its work was to replicate itself till your hard drive was full, and your computer crashed. 

Wondering why a computer virus was created in the first place? The answer is pretty simple. Firstly, to earn money; secondly, to steal data and the third reason is just to annoy or disturb others.

Very few hackers design viruses with big motives, like targetting a particular person and stealing data. Most hackers design viruses just to prank people. 

In the beginning, people were less concerned about social engineering. Therefore, people easily became victims of silly viruses like Heartbleed, Code Red, and the Loveletter virus. 

The attacking pattern of the Loveletter virus is common. It appeared on May 4, 2000. An anonymous email is sent with the subject ILOVEYOU. Inside the mail is an attachment - 'LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU-TXT.vbs'. As the user clicks the attachment, the worm spreads to the user's drive and other email contacts.

Soon, the troublesome computer viruses changed to a mode of cybercrimes. How far can the activities of a virus be assumed from a Trojan? They hide within other programs and functions without the permission of the users.

Coming to some hateful malware of recent times. FormBook created quite a noise in 2016. It is an information stealer. It steals login data from the infected device. Not only that, it can steal screenshots and credentials in web browsers, keystrokes, and many more.

There are viruses like this that can steal banking information. Millions of dollars have been stolen in the past using such viruses. 

In 2013, Hamza Bendelladj, the mastermind of the Zeus Trojan, was arrested in Thailand. Hackers stole millions of people's banking information and billions of dollars using the Zeus virus. It is an international banking threat. In the history of computer viruses, Zeus Trojan is the most successful and widespread.

By the end of 2022, more serious threats have surfaced. Clop Ransomware, Third-Party Exposure, Zeus Gameover, and Cloud Breaches are some of the malware we have come to face. BlackCat is the most dangerous ransom malware that has emerged in recent times.

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