The ‘ I Love You ‘ Virus
About the Author –
A Blog by Pallavi Ram Shinde,
Student: M.B.E. Society’s College of Engineering, Ambajogai.
Every person at least once in their life had to deal with some unwanted corruption of his/her files on a computer. Only few people know what is exactly happening. Most people believe that it is a virus. But have you ever wondered what these viruses are and how they actually work? Here is an insight into a few viruses and their working and how they emerged:
A computer virus is just like a biological virus, it enters the computer and starts making changes to the computer programs and it is responsible to insert its own malicious code in other computer programs. This causes computer programs to deviate from their normal behaviour and act the way the virus wants them to.
- The ” I LOVE YOU ” Virus
From the looks of it the name seems pretty harmless. But if we look at the devastation it caused it would be obvious how dangerous this computer virus is.
The ” I LOVE YOU ” virus first emerged in the year 2000. It quickly made news because it affected millions who used the famous Windows operating system.
It was primarily spread through emails. When the receiver tried to check the email, it ran a visual basic program (algorithm) that deleted files of MP3, JPEG, MP3, VPOS, JS, JSE, CSS, WSH, SCT and HTA formats.
To make matters worse it prompted the message ‘ I Love You ‘ on the receivers screen. It affected almost 45 million users on 4th May 2000.
Damage Caused :-
10 billion US $ or 44,095 crore Rs (in the year 2000)
Perhaps this computer virus is the most catastrophic virus we have ever encountered. This virus only affected Windows machines. This virus arrived in the PC through an attachment from an email.
It was extremely destructive as it also allowed other viruses to enter the computer and the virus did a damage of approximately 38 billion US $ or 1,71,000 crore Rs ( in 2004 1 $ was 45 INR ).
This virus actually affected the PC by leaving The Back Door Open, which means that the invading force was allowed to penetrate the computer’s security system. Once access was gained the virus would usually configure the system so as to disable the downloading of new features in the existing anti virus software. This resulted in a complete disability of the computer to protect itself. It would stop the system from downloading software patches or updates that would otherwise be downloaded to stop the virus from functioning.
This virus is unique when it comes to its purpose of deployment, other viruses are targeted at companies or certain type of individuals. On the other hand this virus was used as a tool for war against Iran by the United States of America. It is said that American Intelligence agencies like the CIA and the Israeli Government were involved in the development of this virus due to shared interests against the nation of Iran.
This virus was specially designed to affect Siemens PLC’s ( PLC is a special control systems for industrial machinery). This virus was created to directly affect Iran’s Nuclear Program and to weaken them by controlling their machinery without their knowledge and self destructing industrial equipment. The virus would alter the function of the industrial machines causing them to malfunction. This virus took it a step further by affecting the feedback systems and hiding from the operators that the industrial machinery were working in overload mode.
Damage Caused :-
If this virus is deployed on the USA at this time it could cause a destruction of 1 Trillion US dollars or approximately 6620000 Crore Rs.
Spectre means “Ghost”. This is more of a bug than a virus. It is more recent as it came into existence in early 2018 ( Hardware Developers were made aware six months ago). This virus was first brought to light by programmers at google who noticed the bug while testing. This would have caused a major issue as it affects most of the new ARM series and Intel series of microprocessors.
This virus affects the computer system by calculating different processing times within the system. A computer has two different types of memories main memory and cache memory. This virus predicts the type of memory used by the microprocessor by determining the time taken to execute a piece of code. When it realizes that some codes are run faster than other codes it recognizes that these codes have the valuable information.
Damage Caused :-
Luckily no damage was caused by the virus (bug) as it was discovered before it could harm most systems around the world.
5) ZEUS malware and ransomware
ZEUS is a a virus that first surfaced in the year 2007. It affected almost 3.5 million users and caused a damage to all the internet users associated with it. This virus also like most other viruses significantly affects windows systems. Investigation into the damage caused by the virus revealed that the mastermind behind the virus was a citizen of Thailand. The mastermind behind this virus was taken into custody by officials in the year 2013.
This virus works with the help of a Trojan Horse. This virus has a bot which is responsible for stealing the data from the users and storing it on a server, this bot is also known as the Zbot. Once the infestation of the virus on the computer is complete then this virus starts gathering personal and valuable information from the user through his/her browser. This precious data is extracted through the web browser. The ‘ https ‘ protocol is somewhat immune to this virus but the ‘ http ‘ protocol is completely vulnerable to this virus. This can lead to loss of important information into the wrong hands.
Damage Caused :-
The estimated damage is about 100 million US $ or approximately 413 Crore Rs, but it could be more since the agencies looking into the matter stopped calculating the damage caused after some point.