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The Most Crippling Computer Hacks and Viruses of All-Time

by Zetta Staff

Hackers have long wreaked havoc on both people and businesses of all sizes.
Despite an entire industry devoted to anti-virus protection, computer hacks and viruses have an enormous economic impact each year – McAfee reported in 2010 that the cost of work time lost amounted to $6.3 million per day for corporations.
The following computer hacks and viruses highlight the importance of having a backup strategy. Zetta Data Protection features enterprise-grade security for your small or medium-sized business, including SSAE-16 certified service, user and group level access control, and 24/7/365 monitoring by Zetta data protection specialists.

1. Morris Worm (1988)

The very first Internet worm was written by Robert Tappan Morris, a 23-year-old student at Cornell University.
Here’s the kicker: The worm wasn’t designed to cause damage and was actually part of a research project. However, the Morris Worm was programmed to self-replicate. As CNET points out, the Internet of 1988 was a closed system meant for research at universities and in the military. Still, the virus eventually hit some 6,000 computers. In the end, Morris was fined and sentenced to perform community service.

2. Storm Worm (2007)

This particular virus was incredibly nasty.
The Storm Worm would be contained in emails, but the subject lines of these emails would change over time to reflect current events. For instance, as this HowStuffWorks article points out, the email line was changed just before the 2008 Beijing Olympics to read “a new deadly catastrophe in China.” Once the executable file (claiming to be a video) attached to the email was running, even more malware would be installed so that the infected computer could be remotely-controlled along with many other PCs in the same network.

3. PlayStation Network (2011)

For gamers, the PlayStation Network outage of 2011 won’t be forgotten for a very long time. Some of the statistics are absolutely astounding:
•   The personal information of 77 million accounts compromised
•   An estimated cost of $24 billion
•   Network outage of 24 days
The hack took place between April 17 and April 19, 2011. Users had trouble signing into the network, and after investigating the problem Sony was forced to turn the network off for 24 days. Even when the network was offline, some games were unplayable and streaming video apps like Hulu and Netflix were unusable. A study by the data-security research firm Ponemon Institute showed that the outage could end up costing Sony some $24 billion.


Zetta Staff
Zetta Staff

Zetta’s pioneering cloud backup and recovery technology provides the surest path from data disasters to business as usual.