Top 5 Computer Viruses of All Time by Security Expert Mikko Hyppönen

Top 5 Computer Viruses of All Time by Security Expert Mikko Hyppönen


Hi there! My name is Mikko, and I’ve been working with viruses and malware all my freaking life! So, they asked me to list my five top viruses of all time. Alright.
Top five viruses of all time. First, obviously I considered starting with Brain.a,
the first virus in history. But I decided that’s boring,
we’ve spoken about Brain already. So my first pick – number five – is going to be a virus called Walker. Walker from 1992. The reason I’m picking Walker is that it’s a very good example of malware of its time. It was a visual virus. It showed itself to the victims by showing this guy walking across the screen after you got infected. That’s a great example of how innocent malware seemed to be at its time. My pick number four for the top viruses of all time is going to be Slammer, also known as SQL Slammer from 2003. And the reason for this pick is that it continues to be the fastest spreading malware in history. Around the early 2000’s we regularly saw malware outbreaks and virus outbreaks like for example email worms, which were spreading very quickly around the world but not actually able to go around the world in minutes because it required people to be reading their email and not all the people are awake at the same time around the globe, so it takes a while. But Slammer was a network worm. Exploiting services running on the Internet So it actually scanned every single public IP address of the Internet, well every IPv4 address, and infected all the machines it could infect in roughly 10 minutes. And that’s a record we still haven’t broken today. My pick number three is a little bit surprising I guess, because it’s not a well-known virus at all. It’s a virus called Fizzer It’s a virus called Fizzer
from 2003. And the reason I’m picking this is that this is the malware which changed the course of history. It’s the first piece of malware that we ever found which was created by organized criminals and the motive was to make money. It infected machines and turned them into spam bots which were sending email spam and email spam is being sent to make money. This changed everything. Money-making malware continues to be the biggest problem we have today. And my pick number two for the most important malware of all time,
is a recent one. It’s from 2017 and it’s Petya. It’s from 2017 and it’s Petya.
Or NotPetya. The reason for this pick is that it is,
in my opinion the single most expensive malware incident in history. In fact, the single most expensive computer security incident of all types. More expensive than any malware, more expensive than any data leak, more expensive than any hack ever. We estimated that it cost somewhere in the region of 5-15 billion euros to companies around the world as this destructive malware, which claimed to be a piece of ransomware, was going around the world in June and July 2017. My pick for the most important malware – so far – in computing history is Stuxnet. Stuxnet from 2010. In fact, in our business we speak about time before Stuxnet and time after Stuxnet. Stuxnet is a prime example of governmental malware. And it’s not the first case of governmental malware, far from that, but it’s probably the most important. It is important, because it was a weapon. It was a weapon which was designed to do physical destruction. Stuxnet was a military operation launched by the governments of United Statets and Israel and it was targeting the nuclear enrichment systems of Iran. And it was a successful strike, delaying uranium enrichment in Iran by a year and a half
or something like that. And that is a historic case. And that is the top five viruses of all time.

7 thoughts on “Top 5 Computer Viruses of All Time by Security Expert Mikko Hyppönen

  1. Does anyone else catch a name and immediately spend hours learning what happened and who was effected and why?

  2. I’m surprised not to see the winblaster worm. That made all the people who used to never install Windows updates, due to inconvenience, regret it. Manually removing it just resulted in hasty re-infection. Often not enough time to download the update fix!

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