The Worm That Nearly Ate the Internet: It infected 10 million computers. So why did cybergeddon never arrive?
Posted in: Legal & Security at 30/06/2019 22:50
Just over 10 years ago, a unique strain of malware blitzed the internet so rapidly that it shocked cybersecurity experts worldwide. Known as Conficker, it was and remains the most persistent computer worm ever seen, linking computers with Microsoft operating systems globally, millions of them, to create a vast illicit botnet, in effect, a black-market supercomputer. That much power controlled by its unknown maker posed an existential threat not just to any enterprise connected to the web, but to the internet itself.
Botnets, networks of secretly linked personal computers controlled by an unseen hand, have launched some of the most notorious dedicated denial of service attacks, flooding websites with so many data requests that they crash. A 2012 attack all but shut down online operations at major banking institutions. They also spread malware. Botnets were behind the WannaCry ransomware attack of 2017 which infected an estimated 200,000 computers in 150 countries and crippled computer networks at National Health Service hospitals in England and Scotland.