The 5 all-time worst malware according to Trend Micro
Trend Micro, a Tokyo-based security enterprise with over 4,000 employees in more than 30 countries, has recently asked the experts from TrendLabs (its global research organization) to make an updated list of the worst computer plagues ever. The resulting list includes 5 noteworthy examples of widespread infections which represented, during their respective period of wider circulation, the most dangerous security threats users and companies could have faced.
Trend Micro’s inglorious list hosts recent and not-so-recent malware, with variable targets and damage potentials but with the common purpose to spread as much as possible: the highest ranking is held by Downad/Conficker, the worm become infamously known for its ability to exploit the MS08-067 flaw and for the complexity of its code. According to Trend Micro the malware (at first detected in November 2008) proved to be able to evolve significantly through the several variants appeared on-line, challenged security companies with its pseudo-random creation routines for tens of thousands of domain names per day and affected the LAN traffic of several corporate networks.
Another relatively recent malware, the social networks worm Koobface, earns the second place thanks to its ability to infect users profiles on high-traffic sites like Facebook and MySpace, afterward spreading malicious links inside the trusty network of the affected user and so increasing its diffusion chances. Like Conficker Koobface has a dynamic update routine too, Trend Micro says, which thing allowed the worm to extend the range of targeted networks and the number of payloads to execute on compromised systems.
The third worst malware of all times is Zbot, an information-stealing trojan family that thanks to its always-changing social engineering techniques let cyber-criminals build a thriving business of credit cards and sensible financial data harvesting. The last two places in the Trend Micro list are reserved for a couple of worm pretty distant in time, namely SQL Slammer (able to drastically slow down the overall Internet traffic in the morning of January 25, 2003) and the infamous Loveletter/Iloveyou, the mass-mailing worm that in 2000 succeeded in infecting 10% of worldwide computers with a simple yet extremely effective social engineering trick (the text string “ILOVEYOU” in the e-mail subject).
At the end of the list Trend Micro quotes other memorable attack even though they had practical effect that cannot be compared to the ones listed, malware like Melissa (the first, devastating mass mailing virus-worm of history dating back to 1999), Msblast/Blaster (able to exploit a system vulnerability at then-unprecedented levels) and others. The security company finally highlights how nowadays the most prominent attacks come from the Internet, and how despite the malware-based cyber-crime already had huge effects on the global network we always need to expect the worse from the threats still to come.
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