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Before WannaCry: 5 Nasty Computer Worms That Spread Quickly And Caused Big Time Damage

Worms such as Conficker, ILOVEYOU and Sobig have wreaked all kinds of havoc since the start of the 2000s

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Worms! Gross!

The world hasn't heard too much about computer worms in recent years, at least not ones that go after the general populace and businesses. (Stuxnet, of course, was a worm targeted at industrial plants). The arrival of the WannaCry attack, however, combines a computer worm with ransomware to create an unusually fast-spreading and debilitating attack.

"WannaCry is different from anything we've ever seen before in that it's a union of the old and new," said Haiyan Song, senior vice president of security markets at Splunk, in an email to CRN. "When you combine WannaCry ransomware and a worm this powerful, there's no surprise the result is a global attack."

Compared to other ransomware attacks, WannaCry "is differentiated by a worm that spreads the ransomware as quickly as possible to as many machines as possible," cybersecurity firm CyberArk wrote on its blog.

But how does WannaCry stack up against previous computer worms? In the following slides, we share details on five other serious computer worms that've struck the globe since the start of the 21st century.

 
 
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