Timeline of the Worst Computer Viruses of All Time

“I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.” ~ Stephen Hawking

Do you agree with the legendary physicist about the “mortality” of computer viruses? No matter how you interpret it, there is no denying that there has been a slew of massively destructive viruses since the dawn of computers. These computer viruses have caused billions of dollars in economic damage – in fact, they cost an estimated $55 billion in damage each year through cleanup and repair costs! They can also cause immense emotional turmoil as people’s lives have become more and more entwined with cyberspace. Tech giant HP.com has created a fascinating guide to the 10 most harmful computer viruses in history. Check it out:

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How many of these notorious computer viruses do you remember, or fell victim to? It’s incredible and terrifying that these entities with no corporeal body can wreak so much havoc. Consider the ILOVEYOU virus, which acted as a fake love letter that would send itself to every email address on the infected computer’s contact list – it caused $15 billion in damages! Talk about expensive AND embarrassing. MYDOOM was another virus that abused email with devastating consequences; during the peak of the virus, it was responsible for 25% of emails sent and $36 billion in damage. With computers constantly evolving and becoming more “independent”, and countless connections forming every second, who can imagine what is next?

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