Computer viruses and Trojan viruses can severely affect the performance of an individual computer or cause the total failure of an entire system network. A wide range of these operability issues can be either intended by the malware creator or completely accidental:
Deletion of critical elements of the system – thus disabling the computer’s operating system
Overloading the network – with a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack
Performing specific activities that negatively affect a computer’s
Accidental consequences… from malware bugs
Software bugs can be found in almost any software program – including computer viruses. To a certain extent, bugs are to be expected within malicious software.
Whereas legitimate software development teams will devote effort to debugging a software product before it’s released onto the market, malware creators may be less likely to perform thorough testing prior to the launch of their latest virus. Unexpected problems and damage are often caused by such bugs in the virus’s code.
Sometimes malicious software may simply be incompatible with the system that it’s trying to attack – or incompatible with some of the software applications that are legitimately running on the targeted system.
This can cause the computer to operate incorrectly – in a way that was not intended by the virus developer. For business systems, these incompatibility issues may lead to a server failure that paralyzes the company’s system network.
Large-scale operability problems
There are many well documented examples of severe operability issues that have resulted from malware – and malware bugs:
In 1988, the Morris worm caused an epidemic in Arpanet – an ancestor of the Internet. Over 6,000 machines were infected. A bug in the virus code caused it to replicate and distribute itself across the network – resulting in complete system paralysis.
In 2003, the Slammer worm caused Internet blackouts across the USA, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. As a result of the uncontrolled prevalence of the worm, network traffic increased by 25% – leading to serious problems with banking operations for one USA bank.
Lovesan (Blaster, MSBlast), Mydoom, Sasser, and other network worm epidemics have also caused significant damage – with airlines having to cancel flights and banks temporarily suspending operations.
How to protect yourself against operability problems caused by malware
By installing effective anti-malware software, you can defend your computers and mobile devices against a wide range of malware types… including computer viruses with bugs that can have severe consequences. Kaspersky Lab offers world-class anti-malware products that defend the following: