Digital Pathogens: 4 Most Dangerous Viruses and Malware for Businesses

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Digital Pathogens: 4 Most Dangerous Viruses and Malware for Businesses

Cyber Security

In recent years cyber-attacks above have caused billions of dollars in damages, and according to experts, what we have witnessed so far is only the tip of the cybercrime iceberg. These four cyber crime incidents are notorious for the massive impact they had.

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In the history of security as it relates to information technology, a few attacks stand out more than others in terms of magnitude and notoriety. The four computer security incidents in the following list became infamous due to the severe economic impact they caused to their targets. It is important to note that although the attacks below were eventually contained, similar versions are still being used to this day.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

The internet was truly coming of age in the year 2000. The Y2K scare turned out to be a nuisance and the crash of the Dot-Com Bubble was still a few months away when major websites operated by Amazon, Dell, E-Trade, FIFA, and Yahoo were taken offline by a massive DDoS attack perpetrated by a 15-year old Canadian hacker who went by the online moniker of MafiaBoy, who would end up serving eight months of juvenile custody plus a year of probation. These days, DDoS attacks have become extremely sophisticated and far more destructive; the most extreme cases require active interventions by IT specialists like those provided by Ottawa managed services.

The Sasser Worm

This Windows XP featured a payload that exploited what seemed to be a minor weakness in the Windows XP operating system. The most sever version of Sasser targeted the Local Security Authority Subsystem Service process, which would take up resources and slowed down the operation of the infected computers until a hard reset was required. Another version of Sasser was a prank email chain that called on users to open the Windows Task Manager and terminate the aforementioned process to force a computer restart. The solutions to Sasser-like attacks consists of keeping operating systems and antivirus software up-to-date.


This type of attack was first reported around 2010, and it is an evolution of "scareware." In essence, ransomware is deployed via Trojan attack or social engineering; once the malicious code is installed and executed, all files in a hard drive are either encrypted or rendered inaccessible, thus prompting the affected user to make an online ransom payment via credit card to regain access. One of the most recent Windows variants is called "Ransoc," and it can be thwarted by using a combination of utilities such as Shadow Explorer, Disk Drill and the Windows System Restore. The University of Calgary in Canada recently paid $20K in ransomware attack.

Stuxnet Virus

Stuxnet Virus

This cyber warfare attack is believed to have been used by the United States and Israel to infect nuclear plants in Iran. Stuxnet works by surreptitiously speeding up certain machinery until it breaks down. Intelligence analysts believe that the virus may have been introduced by insiders or secret agents; this type of attack requires a full computer forensic investigation to detect and mitigate.

The four cyber-attacks above have caused billions of dollars in damages, and they are only the tip of the cybercrime iceberg; for this reason, business owners and network administrators should frequently review their security policies.

By  Hannah WhittenlyEmbed


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