Facts about computer viruses are very interesting. Do you know that there are more than 6000 new computer viruses are released every month? By the way, the whole list of facts are interesting, but which is the bonus fact, this is what I like the most. You will also like that fact.
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So let’s begin…
1. The first computer bug was caused by an actual bug inside a computer.
The first computer bug was reported by computer scientist Grace Hopper on September 9, 1947. Even before this, Thomas Edison reported “bugs” in his designs in the early 1800s. But Hopper was the first to identify a “bug” on the computer. Hopper’s colleagues at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, found that his computer was constantly showing errors. When they opened the computer’s hardware to detect it, a kite was found. This trapped insect disrupted the computer’s electronics.
2. The most common types of malware
Malware means – malicious software. It steals data from your computer, bypasses the access control or else it damages the computer. These are the most common types of malware.
- Adware – This comes via Malware, advertisement or when you download software from an untrusted website.
- Bots – These are programmed to do some specific work which is not easy for humans. Malicious bots are used as sending fake traffic to the website.
- Bugs – Bugs come from deficiencies in programming. Sometimes it allows attackers to bypass user authentication, override access privileges, or steal data.
- Ransomware – This malware encrypts files on the hard drive or locks the system and forces the user to pay to unlock it.
- Rootkits – It has the capability to hide. It cannot be detected with the help of any software, it can only be detected manually. Its job is to execute files remotely, access/steal, modify system configuration, change software, brief malware or install controls.
- Spyware – Spyware works by spying on a user’s activity without their knowledge.
- Trojan horse – It uses a trick to download and install malware. It disguises itself as a common file or program.
- Viruses – A virus is able to copy itself and spread to other computers. Viruses can also spread through cross-site scripting vulnerabilities in script files, documents, and web apps.
- Worm – These spread over computer networks, taking advantage of operating system vulnerabilities. These typically damage their host networks by consuming bandwidth and overloading web servers.
3. The first computer virus was removed by a virus.
The first known computer virus appeared in 1971 and was named “Creeper Virus”. The virus was written by Bob Thomas who was at BBN Technologies. The virus displayed a message that it was “I’m the creeper, catch me if you can!”. The virus was removed with a program called “The Reaper” created by Ray Tomlinson. “The Reaper” is also known as the first antivirus. The funniest fact is that “The Reaper” was basically a virus designed to remove the “creeper”.
4. “Timofonica” was the first mobile phone virus found in June 2000.
“Timofonica” used sent SMS messages to GSM-capable cell phones that was in Spanish language – “Information for you: Telefónica is fooling you.” These messages were sent through the Internet SMS Gateway of the Movistar mobile operator. The Timofonica virus infects sending text messages to randomly selected Telefonica mobile phones. The amazing thing is that the fast-spreading mobile phone virus did not harm the mobile phone, nor did it affect them. No complaint was filed against it.
5. MyDoom is the most destructive virus ever.
The virus has caused more than $38 billion in devastation. In 2004, the virus was estimated to affect 25% of all emails worldwide. When a user was infected with this virus, the virus created a network opening that allowed others to access your computer. Moreover, the virus also had the ability to open random programs. In January 2004, the Mydoom virus infected about a quarter-million computers in just one day.
6. “I Love You” is one of the most viral computer viruses ever.
The ILOVEYOU virus is also known as the love bug. It infected millions of personal computers worldwide in May 2000. This worm spread via e-mail. The subject line of the email was ILOVEYOU. Now everyone would like to read such subject emails. After infecting the user’s computer, the virus sent copies of itself to each contact found in its address book. And thus the ILOVEYOU virus caused $15 billion in damage.
Quick Facts about Computer Virus
7. The Melissa virus (1999) was so powerful that it forced Microsoft and other big tech giants like it to shut down their email systems until the virus was completely removed.
8. The first Windows virus was WinVer 1.4, first .exe file was named Groove.
9. The Lehigh virus is one of the first file viruses, infects command.com files.
10. The first boot virus was created by the Farooq Alvi Brothers (from Pakistan).
11. Viruses were transferred using floppy disks before computer networks existed.
12. A malicious software writer is usually a male between the ages of 14 and 25.
13. Some virus writers may be children who create viruses to test their programming skills.
14. According to the Microsoft security intelligence report and consumer report, 40% of houses in the US are affected by computer viruses.
15. In order, Amazon, Apple, and eBay are the top three brands vulnerable to phishing attacks.
16. When the Internet was not popular, floppy disks were used to spread computer viruses.
17. The typical malicious software writer is a male between the ages of fourteen and twenty-five. Only a few female virus writers have been known so far.
18. Approximately 90% of all emails contain malware and many people are not even aware of it.
19. According to the Microsoft security intelligence report and consumer report, 40% of US households are affected by computer viruses.
20. Your computer cannot be infected by email unless you click on a malicious link or download an attachment.
Bonus Fact: The elk cloner is one of the first known microcomputer viruses that spread to “wild”, that is, outside of the computer system or laboratory in which it was written. It was written by a 15-year-old high school student, originally as a joke, and put on a game disc.
The poem showcasing the elk cloner was as follows:
Elk Cloner: The program with a personality
It will get on all your disks
It will infiltrate your chips
Yes, it’s Cloner!
It will stick to you like glue
It will modify RAM too
Send in the Cloner!
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Common facts about computer viruses
- Virus writers are not hackers.
- A computer virus cannot infect hardware.
- Computer viruses also used to mine cryptocurrencies.