From the first Arpanet malware in 1971 to the global ransomware attack in 2017 – a timeline.
It wasn’t until 1984 that the term “virus” was first used in relation to computers to describe malicious malware – a type of harmful digital software very similar to its biological counterparts.
The American computer scientist at that time wrote Fred Cohen from the University of Southern California published a paper entitled “Computer viruses – theory and experimentsIn which he described the theoretical foundations of viruses.
On the other hand, the first malware consisting of program code manipulation existed much earlier: as early as 1971, the initial Internet producer Arpanet was trading with “creepingCreeper was originally designed as a security test to determine if a program could propagate independently from computer to computer in a network.
However, the first malware did not cause any harm to the infected computers. That should change dramatically in the future. The computer virus that caused the greatest financial damage is stillMyDoomFrom 2004.
The parasite, which is spread by email, has attacked nearly a quarter of all email sent worldwide – and has caused total costs of $55 billion, including cleaning up infected systems.
Starting around 2010 – in parallel with the rise of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin – a new type of virus, known as ransomware, began to proliferate: they encrypted documents in infected companies – only to release them again after paying a ransom.
WannaCry was one of the most well-known global ransomware attacks in 2017: the worm infected more than 200,000 computers worldwide – causing an estimated four billion dollars in damage.
All other facts and figures about the worst computer viruses in history and their estimated damage in the following timeline – double click to enlarge:
In Europe, ransomware hits industrial operating technology almost as much as IT
Differences in US and European phishing email subject lines
Two-thirds of companies lose trust in well-known IT providers due to cyber-attacks
€20 billion in damages from ransomware and other cyber attacks in 2021
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