3 of the most destructive and famous computer viruses of all time


Cybersecurity is a subject that’s on the mind of many these days. As more and more of our lives and information enter the digital realm, the more hackers, viruses and stolen information become ever-present threats.

Computer bugs have a history of creating extreme harm. Serious bugs can cost companies billions of dollars. That may sound like a high amount, but it’s true: there’s no end to what damage a virus can do. 

Need some examples? What are some of the more famous computer viruses, and what destruction did they cause? Read on and we’ll walk you through a few of the biggest.


The original grandfather of malware might be this virus cooked by up by two Filipino programmers, Reonel Ramones, and Onel de Guzman. This was the turn of the millennium, 2000, and computer literacy among the general population was still low

That’s why, when many received an e-mail with a text attachment called ‘ILOVEYOU,’ they proceeded to open it and see what it was all about. 

But this attachment was actually malware disguised as a text file. Upon opening, the malware would send itself to every person in a user’s contact list, spreading itself instantly across the globe. 

ILOVEYOU is said to have caused nearly ten billion dollars worth of damage. It is actually responsible for the creation of laws governing e-commerce and the online world. 

2. Crypto Locker

When it comes to dangerous malware, there aren’t many much more insidious out there than the crypto locker virus. Cryptolocker is a virus that is classified as a trojan horse ransomware. 

When the virus gets onto your computer, it begins to encrypt files and make them unable to open. It’s easy to get rid of the virus itself, but it’s very difficult to then open the encrypted files. 

The only way to successfully unencrypt the files is to pay a ransom to an online server that will then release the decryption codes. The initial CryptoLocker programmers were said to have made $3 million off the scheme, though they were eventually brought to justice. 

3. Flashback

The Flashback virus is famous for being the virus that showed Macs and Apple products were not immune from this growing threat. 

In 2011, fake Flash install notifications begin popping up on Mac computers. If installed, malware would infect a Mac system and over time, begin attempting to steal administrative passwords and sensitive information.

Over 600,000 Mac users were infected with the virus at the highest point of Flashback fever. It caused a huge problem over at Apple, who for so long had boasted about their superior safety over Windows computers. 

Though the damage done by Flashback is less than some other viruses, it became one of the most well-known viruses in history due to the operating platform it was able to infect. 

World Famous Computer Viruses

Whether you run a business or just keep personal info on your computer, you need to be concerned about viruses. As the famous computer viruses above show, well designed-malware can be really destructive. 

Think you might have a virus on your computer? Check out our how-to page for assistance and other helpful advice. 

Last Updated on February 3, 2021.


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