Top 10 Web Threats In History

web_threatWeb threats, also known by different names such as virus, spyware, trojan, worm, etc. has been around since the early days of computers and the Internet. I believe there is no Internet café that did not have it for even once. Sometime, a café have them but they just do not know until the unit affected really slows down or not operate at all. We all had experienced their harmful effects in our computer units and the only thing that we had not seen is the news headline in the image on this blog.

The Internet is now forty (40) years old based on the disputable beginning of the Internet on September 2nd 1969, in a laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), when two computers passed test data through a 15-foot gray cable.  To mark its anniversary, Symantec, an IT security firm, identified ten (10) of the most notorious threats ever seen online.

The top 10 web threats in history of the Internet and the year it occurred are as follows:

  • I Love You (2000) – Contained in e-mails with the subject “I Love You”, fifty (50M) million infections of this worm had been reported in May 2000. The Pentagon, the CIA, and the British Parliament all had to shut down their e-mail systems in order to purge the threat.
  • Conficker (2009) – A very recent threat, the Conficker worm has created a secure, worldwide infrastructure for cybercrime. The worm allows its creators to remotely install software on infected machines. It was not known what the installed software will do but some experts say that, most likely, the worm will be used to create a botnet that will be rented out to criminals who want to send spam, steal identifications and direct users to online scams and phishing sites.
  • Melissa (1999) – The virus was named after an exotic dancer by its maker, David L. Smith, who was obsessed with her and also with writing viruses.  Melissa was released to the world on March 26th, 1999 and kicked off a period of high-profile threats that rocked the Internet between 1999 and 2005.
  • Slammer (2003) – This fast-moving worm managed to temporarily bring much of the Internet to its knees in January of 2003. The threat was so aggressive that it was mistaken by some countries to be an organized attack against them.
  • Nimda (2001) – A mass-mailing worm that uses multiple methods to spread itself, Nimda became the Internet’s most widespread worm. The name of the virus came from the reversed spelling of “admin.”
  • Code Red (2001) – Websites affected by the Code Red worm were defaced by the phrase “Hacked By Chinese!”  At its peak, the number of infected hosts reached 359,000.
  • Blaster (2003) – Blaster is a worm that triggered a payload that launched a denial of service attack against windowsupdate.com, which included the message, “Billy Gates why do you make this possible? Stop making money and fix your software!!”
  • Sasser (2004) – This nasty worm spread by exploiting a vulnerable network port, meaning that it could spread without user intervention. Sasser wreaked havoc on everything from The British Coast Guard to Delta Airlines, which had to cancel some flights after its computers became infected.
  • Storm (2007) – Microsoft is always the popular target. Like Blaster and others before, this worm’s payload performed a denial-of-service attack on www.microsoft.com. During Symantec’s tests an infected machine was observed sending a burst of almost 1,800 emails in a five-minute period.
  • Morris (1988) – An oldie but a goodie; without Morris the current threat “superstars” wouldn’t exist. The Morris worm (or Internet worm) was created with innocent intentions. Robert Morris claims that he wrote the worm in an effort to gauge the size of the Internet. Unfortunately, the worm contained an error that caused it to infect computers multiple times, creating a denial of service.

We have not yet seen the end of web threats. Experts say there will be more to come but the anti-threat people are ready for them.

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