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Malicious Malware of First Ten Years of the 21st Century

ScanSafe has released the list of most malicious malware that formed the threat landscape, as the first decade of the millennium (21st century) coming to an end this year (2010).

The security company states that "I LOVE YOU" worm came into existence in 2001. It is said that the worm, written in VBScript, is the most destructive of all times. It began in the Philippines on May 4, 2000 and circulated across the world in 24 hours, attacking 10% of all systems connected to the Web and causing damage of around $5.5 Billion.

ScanSafe list shows that in mid-September 2001, the Nimda worm started circulation around the world. It was assisted by several means of proliferation one of them was the exploitation of numerous vulnerabilities in Microsoft IIS. Consequently, it became the most dangerous worm in 2002.

In 2003, Sobig worm hit the news. Sobig infected systems were installed with a spam proxy, allowing mass-mailers to send huge chunks of unsolicited mail through victims' systems; even harvesting victims own mail contacts to add to the mailing list of spammers.

ScanSafe also highlights that in 2004, Bagle worm appeared. It is a piece of malware that circulates by itself over mail, network shares and disk drives. It has rootkit abilities that enable it to conceal from the user. Further, the worm disables many antivirus solutions. Due to this, antivirus solution might not be able to conduct any definition updates.

As per the security company, hackers' attacks become profit driven and clearly illegal in 2005. With tsunami hitting several homes in December 2004, hackers started exploiting people's panic and inquisitiveness by publishing breaking news alerts.

ScanSafe adds that in 2006, the Storm botnet was in progress. Storm worm is a Trojan horse with an executable file as an attachment.

A PHP-based malicious kit 'MPack' was created by Russian hackers and released in 2007. The first version of kit was supposed to have been launched in December 2006. It is believed that nearly every month a new edition of the kit has been released since its inception.

Goolag and Gumblar are other malware which created uproar in 2008 and 2009 respectively. On a concluding note, ScanSafe states that the 2010 threat landscape will be more harmful than the previous years.

Related article: Malicious Scripts with Zero-byte Padding can Pass Undetected

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