Malware is one of the only real dangers of using a computer.
Normally, sitting in an office chair staring at an LCD display isn’t hazardous to your health. But when it comes to malware, that’s not the case. Malware can take pictures of you at your computer. It can drain your bank account. It can steal your data and ruin your life. Malware is evil.
But have you ever stopped to wonder where malware came from? Here’s a handy infographic that tells you the story of malware:
That infographic comes courtesy of our friends at ESET and WeLiveSecurity.com. Here are some of the highlights of the infographic:
-The first virus emerged way before the internet and only infected floppy disks, but nevertheless managed to “spread globally in a matter of weeks”.
-Ransomware has been around since 1994 with the OneHalf virus. That ransomware was so early that it didn’t even demand a ransom: it just encrypted your data and deleted that data if you tried to remove the virus.
-The LoveLetter virus was possibly the first major virus to gain international media attention, possibly due to its ability to spread through emails. Hackers took advantage of a human vulnerability known as “loneliness” and attached a virus to an email titled ILOVEYOU. If you downloaded the attachment, you didn’t get to read a love letter – you got to share your computer’s entire data with the world.
-The first mobile phone virus spread via MMS and launched in 2005
-Stuxnet, the first military-grade worm that made the news, was launched in 2010. It may be the first major example of cyberwarfare. The worm was reportedly developed under Obama’s orders as part of a joint U.S.-Israel initiative. The main evidence for that claim, however, is that the virus was incredibly advanced and specifically targeted computers used by Iran’s nuclear program.
Unfortunately, this infographic won’t be up-to-date for very long. New malware is being released every single day. Although Windigo is the most recent entry on this list, I don’t expect it to stay recent for very long.