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The Most Costly Computer Viruses: Tales of Destruction and Billions in Damages


Have you ever experienced a slow computer, random shutdowns, or a buggy mouse? Its frustrating,isn't it? Well the culprit might be a computer virus! Not all viruses are created equal though. Some are easily removed by a fast cleanup and an antivirus update while others may wreak havoc,inflicting billions of dollars in damage and being compared to weapons of mass devastation.This article will look at five of the most expensive computer viruses ever encountered. Brace yourself for the tales of these digital monsters!

I Love You

In the year 2000, on May 4th, the I Love You computer virus stormed onto the internet, leaving behind a trail of destruction, crashed computers, and deleted files. This virus caused approximately 10 billion dollars in damage! It was created by two programmers from the Philippines who managed to spread it through an email with the subject line "I love you" and an attachment titled "love letter for you." Once the unsuspecting victims opened the email and attachment, the virus would overwrite all their files, steal their passwords, and automatically send copies of itself to their contacts. The I Love You virus impacted thousands of computers worldwide, including those of governments and large corporations. Despite the efforts to track down and arrest the virus creators, they were never charged due to insufficient evidence and the absence of Philippine laws prohibiting such activities.

Code Red

Next on our list is the infamous Code Red computer worm, which was named after the cans of Code Red flavor Mountain Dew that the discoverers were sipping on at the time. This devastating virus, discovered by TWEI digital security employees, attacked from multiple angles, resulting in billions of dollars' worth of damages. Code Red specifically targeted computers with the Microsoft web server installed, exploiting a small vulnerability that had significant consequences. Once a computer was infected, the worm would duplicate itself hundreds of times, devouring the system's resources. It would then launch a denial-of-service attack on several IP addresses, including the White House website! At its peak, Code Red infected over 359,000 computers simultaneously, causing around two billion dollars in lost productivity. The worm's signature message, "Hacked by Chinese," became a viral meme. Code Red demonstrated the vulnerability of millions of Microsoft servers at the time.


In 2004, a Windows worm named Sasa wreaked havoc on computers worldwide. Created by a computer science student named Sven Jackson when he was just 18 years old, this worm rapidly spread across the internet, infecting computers operating on Windows XP and Windows 2000. Sasa exploited a vulnerable buffer overflow and caused infected computers to crash and shut down without warning. The widespread reach of Sasa affected global infrastructure, including airlines and hospitals, resulting in an estimated damage cost exceeding 18 billion dollars. Despite the release of a patch, the virus continued to spread due to many computers neglecting to update. Eventually, Microsoft offered a bounty for information leading to the creator's arrest, and Sven was apprehended in May 2004. Fortunately for him, Sven was tried as a minor and received a 21-month suspended sentence.


Known as Downup or Confica, this computer worm made its first appearance in 2008. Its origin remains unknown, but since its discovery, Confica has infected millions of computers worldwide and continues to do so even today! This persistent virus has built itself into a fully-fledged botnet by infecting and linking millions of computers. It gained access to at least 10 million individual IP addresses, making it capable of launching devastating targeted attacks. The FBI's cyber division director stated that Confica had the potential to cause damage comparable to a weapon of mass destruction. Despite its immense power, Confica has only been used once to spread a relatively minor strain of scareware. Nonetheless, it caused an estimated nine billion dollars in damages. In 2011, three Ukrainian men were arrested in connection with Confica, but it remains uncertain whether they faced charges.

My Doom

The name says it all! My Doom, a highly destructive computer virus that emerged in 2004, is still considered one of the fastest spreading and most costly computer worms to date. This virus propagated by collecting email addresses from infected Windows computers and sending itself to the victims' contact lists through a malicious attachment. If the attachment was opened, the process repeated indefinitely. My Doom quickly amassed millions of infected computers, forming a powerful botnet capable of launching various denial-of-service attacks. In mid-2004, My Doom even managed to bring down Google and other popular search engines, preventing users from making searches for almost an entire day! The virus creator remains unknown, but it is believed that they were either paid or coerced into creating it. My Doom's destructive path resulted in damages totaling a staggering 38.5 billion dollars. Even today, it generates around one percent of the total emails sent worldwide.


Since their introduction,Computer Viruses have caused tremendous damage to individuals, organisations and even governments. These five high cost computer viruses serve as reminders of the significance of cybersecurity and the necessity for ongoing vigilance in securing our digital life. As technology progresses, so are the threats we face.We can protect ourselves from these digital risks by being informed, updating our systems nd putting in place robust security measures.



1. Are all computer viruses equally harmful?
Not all computer viruses are equally harmful.Some are readily fixed with basic antivirus software, while others can cause substantial harm. Resulting in financial losses and the interruption of vital systems.

2. How can I protect my computer from viruses?
To Stay safe you can Install trusted antivirus software,Keep your operating system & programmes updated,avoid clicking on unknown links or downloading files from unknown sources and frequently backing up your data to safeguard ur computer against virus.

3. What should I do if my computer is infected with a virus?
If you suspect your computer is infected with a virus, disconnect the data connection immediately to prevent additional damage. Then using a reliable antivirus programme, do a comprehensive system scan and follow the removal instructions.If the issue remains after scanning, you may always seek professional assistance.

4. Can viruses cause physical damage to a computer?
While computer viruses primarily affect the software nd data stored on a computer, certain types of Viruses can cause physical damage to the hardware. For example some viruses may overheat components or overload the power supply, which may lead to hardware failure

5. How can I stay safe from viruses while browsing the internet?

Always Use a secure online browser,a reputable antivirus software, avoid clicking on unknown links or pop ups and be cautious while downloading files from the internet to avoid infections. Additionally, keep your browser and operating system up to date to avoid security flaws.

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