Computer viruses are firstly created in the academic world for researches. It was 1949 that John von Neumann created the first computer virus in the world. It was an idea that a file on computer replicates itself without any more commands. First computer virus for a specific computer system is created in 1972 for SIEMENS 4004/35 computer system. It was the Creeper virus that detected in ARPANET which is earlier form of Internet. After the creeper virus gained access to system and left the “I’m the creeper, catch me if you can!” message, first antivirus program The Reaper is created to remove it. Today computer viruses are a daily part of computing world and a powerful virus is affecting whole world. How many viruses affected millions of computers?
There were some viruses working on Dos environment but first big virus world has seen was CIH or Chernobyl with its common name in 1999. It’s one of the first viruses’ affected Microsoft Windows environments. Chen Ing-hau was a student in Tatung University in Taiwan when he wrote it and world was not ready for such a virus attack. It’s estimated that 60 million computers are affected from CIH and it made $1 billion US dollars damage. It led to a new computer crime in Taiwan. It was a virus that triggering after infected computer and most of the big computer companies like IBM shipped new computers with CIH virus.
“Love Letter/I LOVE YOU” virus was the first example of its kind. Millions of people opened the simple mail without noticing the result in 2000. Virus was changing the photos of user first and then sending itself to first 50 people in the address book. After 3 hours of first infection, I LOVE YOU virus became a global pandemic. It’s accepting as first socially engineered computer virus.
Two years after I LOVE YOU, internet faced Slammer virus. It was not a virus targeted end user but it affected millions of computers but it gave the main damage to Bank of America’s ATMs, 911 services and nuclear plants. Especially infection on Ohio nuclear plant became top news and discussed in America for weeks.
Fizzer and SoBig viruses were also affected millions of computers. But for the first time, viruses were not created for fast and strong damage. They were infecting the user computers and sending advertisement e-mails to address book but it was very hard to notice them by user. Virus spread so wide and damaged so much that Microsoft used a bounty system for $250,000 bounty to person who gives information about creator. It’s still possible to see viruses working on Fizzer style.
MyDoom was working for a denial of service attack and all computers infected with this virus were soldiers of attack. It was the first kind of its genre. Infecting was possible by only opening the mail and code inside the mail was downloading by computer automatically. It used Windows address book like any others but send mail to most mail sent ones in list. It spread faster than any virus and hit millions of computers. After infected to millions of computers, it worked for attacking some big systems.
PoisonIvy was the first serious example of “remote access Trojan.” With this virus, it was possible to control user’s computer without any notice. It was using a big backdoor to control the computers so it became the nightmare of computer security programmers. Virus is used both by amateur users and professional hackers. Especially Western firms became the target of virus and traces went to China after investigation.