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Computer viruses have always been a cause of concern for users. About twenty five years ago, Morris Worm, the first computer virus infected about 6,000 computers. Since then, many other viruses have been successful in infecting innumerable computers around the world.

Mentioned below is an overview of the five most prominent computer viruses and some other details.


MyDoom virus

This was a worm which spread through emails, which appeared as bounced messages. As the email was opened by the used, this malicious code used to get downloaded on its own and attached the Outlook address book of the victim. This way, it was able to spread to friends, colleagues and family of the victim. This virus had the fastest speed, which was not seen in any virus before.


This worm used to replicate itself. It was also a Trojan, as it was able to appear something else, other than malicious malware. As the mail was opened by the user, the worm got triggered and it then started collecting information about more addresses. This worm infected other people’s systems by sending bulk messages. The sheer amount of messages it sent blocked the inbox of the users, as well as computer systems. This virus was so powerful and vastly spread that even the computer and freight traffic in Washington D.C. and Air Canada were infected by it. Not only that, but it was successful in slowing down the computer systems of many prominent companies.


I Love you code Virus

This virus attacked in the form of an innocent seeming email attachment, which was labelled as ‘I Love You’. When this email attachment was opened by the user, it used to spread a malicious program which infected the image files of the user by overwriting them. This virus was basically designed for the purpose of stealing passwords of internet access. A unique was used by this virus for infecting other people’s computes, as it used to spread to the first fifty contacts added in the Window address book of the user.


code red

This worm basically spread by exploiting the vulnerability of machines which were running on Windows NT and Windows 2000. This virus worked by taking down and defacing websites, notably the official website of Whitehouse. It also forced many other government agencies and institutions to take down public websites also. The way this virus spread was also unique. At one time it randomly selected hundred IP addresses. It also scanned the computer systems to check the presence of Microsoft system. Then it used to spread to those particular systems only.



Also known as Sapphire, this internet worm used to cause the denial of services on various internet hosts. This lowered the speed of usual internet traffic dramatically. This virus used to release a number of various network packets, which are the units of the data that has been transmitted through internet. By doing this activity, this virus was able to slow down the speed of many servers. A unique factor of this virus was that it was able to get double in size as it used to spread over the internet. IP addresses were selected by it randomly for infecting, for finding various susceptible hosts. The ATMs of Banks of America, the Washington state’s emergency response system, nuclear plant located in Ohio and Continental Airlines were some of the prominent victims of this virus.

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