Whether you use your computer for work, play or both, there is likely sensitive material on it. When a computer virus hits, it can truly become a nightmare that you’re not sure how to solve. A virus can delete your entire hard drive, use your email address, corrupt files or simply impede your computer’s performance.
There are plenty of viruses in history that have sent shock waves into the general public, but listed below are the three top recent viruses and what they do:
- WannaCry – this virus is what is considered ransomware, which is a term used when hackers demand a quick payout soon after releasing a virus. The virus will lock all files within a user’s computer until the ransom is paid. In May 2017, WannaCry had devastating effects, infiltrating 150 countries and affecting the National Health Service (NHS), according to Telegraph.co.uk. The virus attacked hospitals’ “antiquated” computer systems, holding captive medical records and resulting in many patients being turned away.
- CryptoLocker – According to Norton, another ransomware virus called CryptoLocker netted $30 million in 100 days. The virus attached itself to users’ emails and then encrypted the files on their computers. In some cases, recovery attempts were successful, but most of the encrypted files stayed locked away until a sum of money was paid. CryptoLocker was so damaging that the “FBI offered a cool $3 million reward for Bogachev,” the brains behind the operation, before they finally caught him.
- Rombertik – What could be more annoying than your computer restarting itself over and over and over? Well, this is exactly what the virus called Rombertik did. This virus was more surreptitious than its counterparts, avoiding capture inside the user’s computer like a fox being hunted. One way that it evaded discovery so well was by writing “a single byte of arbitrary data to the memory a whopping 960 million times,” which misled “sandboxes into thinking the virus to be a regular program,” as reported by Tech Times. Once the evasion mechanism was triggered, the virus would put the device on a constant reboot loop.
What can you do to avoid any future malignant strands of computer viruses infecting your computer and disrupting your life? Money Talks News explains that you need to keep your software up to date, avoid clicking any links within emails from unknown people (or even from people you know) and use antivirus software, among other solutions. And if you do catch a virus? Be sure to keep your files backed up. A lot of the time, if a virus hits, simply having your files backed up can be the cure.